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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery lost $1.38 to $32.98 on the New York Merc, while Brent for May lost $1.43 to $35.79 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.54 to WTI, up from a discount of $13.58. Natural gas for April lost six cents to $1.88. The TSX energy index lost 5.55 points to close at 69.90.
"All options will be on the table. I repeat, all options will be on the table to do everything that we can within our capacity to help protect jobs and Albertans," declared Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who is heading to Ottawa today to seek federal support as his province grapples with the fallout of cratering oil prices. The budget that his government released late last month assumed oil prices of around $58 (U.S.) a barrel. Every $1 (U.S.) drop in this price drains roughly $355-million from the provincial treasury, according to the province's estimates. Oil is currently trading at around $33 (U.S.) a barrel. This collapse, compounded by the economic slowdown and public health threats associated with the coronavirus outbreak -- now officially labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization -- is "a national economic concern, not just a western issue," said the government in a statement this morning. Mr. Kenney promised to be "laser-focused" on protecting jobs, securing funding and providing economic relief.
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