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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery lost 63 cents to $50.32 on the New York Merc, while Brent for April lost 46 cents to $54.47 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $18.50 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for March stayed unchanged at $1.86. The TSX energy index lost 2.28 points to close at 129.94.
Canada's upstream oil and gas sector will see a $2-billion spending bump in 2020 compared with 2019, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). The organization is predicting that companies' capital spending will rise to $37-billion this year from $35-billion last year.
While spending is still far short of historical peaks -- such as the $81-billion spent in 2018 -- this year's boost is "big news," cheered CAPP's president and chief executive officer, Tim McMillan, in an article written by him and published today in the Edmonton Journal. Mr. McMillan calculated that the extra $2-billion will support 11,800 jobs. Most of these jobs will be in Alberta, where the provincial government has made several tax and policy moves to boost oil and gas investment. Spending is also expected to rise in Saskatchewan (to $4.4-billion in 2020 from $4-billion in 2019) and in British Columbia (to $3.6-billion from $3.4-billion). The optimism reflects progress on pipelines such as Trans Mountain, Line 3 and Keystone XL, said Mr. McMillan, repeatedly calling the ability to get pipelines built "essential." If Canada can keep this up, concluded Mr. McMillan, the $2-billion boost this year is "just a glimmer of the [industry's] potential."
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