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Energy Summary for Feb. 21, 2020

2020-02-21 19:40 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery lost 40 cents to $53.38 on the New York Merc, while Brent for April lost 81 cents to $58.50 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $16.25 to WTI, up from a discount of $17.25. Natural gas for March lost one cent to $1.91. The TSX energy index lost 2.40 points to close at 131.63.

With anti-pipeline protesters mounting their third week of crippling rail blockades across Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged today that his calls for resolution through "dialogue and mutual respect" have failed. "We cannot continue to watch the Canadians suffer shortages and layoffs," said Mr. Trudeau at a press conference in Ottawa. "The barricades must now come down. The injunctions must be obeyed and the law must be upheld."

Mr. Trudeau is apparently just now learning what Coastal GasLink, the company at the centre of this particular storm, has known for years: It is hard to have a productive conversation when the other side won't take their fingers out of their ears. Coastal GasLink claims to have had 5,000 "interactions" (an admittedly vague term) with indigenous people affected by its plans to build a gas pipeline across Northern British Columbia. Each of the 20 elected band councils along the route support the pipeline, including the elected councils of the Wet'suwet'en Nation. It is a small number of non-elected Wet'suwet'en leaders -- more officially the OW, the Office of the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs -- who oppose the pipeline and have inspired the rail blockades and other protests across Canada. Coastal GasLink has long noticed what it calls the "unwillingness of the OW to engage." Letters and proposals go unanswered, and requests to meet are ignored or refused.

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