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Energy Summary for March 19, 2020

2020-03-19 19:11 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery added $4.85 to $25.22 on the New York Merc, giving its best ever one-day performance after the U.S. government signalled that it is considering intervention in the Saudi-Russian oil price war in hopes of stabilizing the market, while Brent for May added $3.59 to $28.47 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.00 to WTI, up from a discount of $14.50. Natural gas for April added five cents to $1.65. The TSX energy index added 2.28 points to close at 44.23.

Despite the oil price lift, the mood in Western Canada remained glum. "We must begin to prepare ourselves for a time of adversity unlike any we have seen since the 1930s," said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in the provincial legislature, announcing a series of financial relief measures for employees and employers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price collapse. Among other things, companies can defer payments of corporate income taxes until the end of August, gaining access to an estimated $1.5-billion in funds. The province plans to unveil more economic stimulus measures soon. These are on top of recent federal relief measures totalling about $82-billion. In response, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said it was "encouraged by the federal and Alberta governments' economic stimulus announcements to date," though some "details still need to be developed." By details CAPP likely means targeted support for the energy sector. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently said Ottawa is working on tailored measures for the energy sector (as well as airlines, another hard-hit group), but is "not far along enough in those discussions to identify the specific measures that we will take."

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Wow, does this mean Pembina will support the hereditary chief's objection to the Coastal Gas Link Pipeline in British Columbia in order to limit competition for Asian business? I guess time will tell. If Pembina intends to buy Canadian gas, this could be a very interesting process to watch.

Posted by John at 2020-03-19 20:29