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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery added $1.14 to $50.75 on the New York Merc, while Brent for April added $1.32 to $55.28 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $19.04 to WTI, up from a discount of $19.78. Natural gas for March lost one cent to $1.86. The TSX energy index added 4.79 points to close at 133.91.
The oil patch was in a jubilant mood as not one but two pipelines cleared major hurdles in their long march to construction. Yesterday, the Federal Court of Appeal, which previously quashed Ottawa's approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline in 2018 after deeming the indigenous consultations insufficient, ruled that Ottawa had rectified all problems and that the project should go ahead. The unanimous ruling was a decisive victory for Trans Mountain. The government's duty to consult indigenous groups does not equal veto power for said groups, and even when there is "genuine disagreement about whether a project is in the public interest, the law does not require that the interests of indigenous groups prevail," said the court. The court noted that at least 120 of the 129 indigenous groups potentially affected by Trans Mountain either support it or do not oppose it. The main opposition comes from the mere four groups that have taken the issue to court. Yesterday's ruling was a blow to them, but the battle is not over yet; they now have 60 days to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Trans Mountain remains confident that the project will be built, with oil potentially flowing by 2023.
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