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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery lost $1.48 to $31.50 on the New York Merc, its meltdown accelerating despite the U.S. Federal Reserve's pledge to inject up to $1.5-trillion into U.S. markets to prevent "ominous trading conditions," while Brent for May lost $2.57 to $33.22 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.42 to WTI, up from a discount of $13.54. Natural gas for April lost four cents to $1.84. The TSX energy index lost 11.57 points to close at 58.33.
Alberta oil producers could soon see even more output restrictions as the province looks for ways to combat falling oil prices and shore up its resource-dependent economy, said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. He is currently in Ottawa to enlist federal support for various proposed relief measures, including capital injections, payroll tax relief, an "equalization rebate," and funding to create jobs and spur technological development. Adjustment to the province's existing oil curtailment policy is another option under consideration. While there are no current plans to change the policy, Mr. Kenney said his government is monitoring oil inventories and, if storage nears capacity, would "use the curtailment tool responsible to ensure at least a survival price for our producers to get through this."
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