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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery edged down five cents to $35.44 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August shot up $2.99 to $38.32 (all figures in this para U.S.). (The two benchmarks are normally more aligned in their trading, but after Friday's session showed a sharp rise in WTI and almost no change in Brent, today was apparently Brent's turn to catch up.) Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $6.58 to WTI, up from a discount of $7.50. Natural gas for July lost eight cents to $1.77. The TSX energy index added 1.47 points to close at 79.57.
The week began with good news for pipeline-watchers: The construction of the Trans Mountain expansion project has officially crossed the border into British Columbia. "We kicked off pipeline construction in B.C. today with work beginning in the city of Kamloops," announced Trans Mountain on its website this morning. President and chief executive officer Ian Anderson hailed the achievement of "another key milestone ... [and] important step forward on the path to building this critical piece of infrastructure." Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian was similarly enthusiastic about the expected economic benefits; construction spending in the Kamloops area is estimated at over $450-million over the next two years. The mayor's support is at odds with provincial government and Premier John Horgan, who once vowed to "use every tool in the toolbox" to block Trans Mountain. He ran out of tools in January, 2020, when the Supreme Court of Canada shut down the province's final legal appeal. Of course, the court wranglings have certainly been effective as delay tactics. Some of the pipe now being laid in Kamloops was first brought to the city more than two years ago.
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