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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery added 28 cents to $40.90 on the New York Merc, while Brent for September added 21 cents to $43.29 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $7.93 to WTI, up from a discount of $8.34. Natural gas for August lost five cents to $1.82. The TSX energy index lost 1.56 points to close at 73.70.
Mere months after being curtailed to deal with weak prices and obliterated demand, roughly one-fifth of Canada's shut-in oil production is being restored, according to data from Bloomberg. Producers in Western Canada had slashed up to one million barrels of oil a day (or one-quarter of total regional output) after prices crashed in March. With a recovery in prices to the $35 (U.S.) level in early June, some companies, such as Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE: $0.70), said they had begun restoring some of their higher-margin production. Now prices are around $40 (U.S.), and at a TD Securities energy conference this week, companies including Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE: $6.01), Husky Energy Inc. (HSE: $4.15), Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO: $20.84) and ARC Resources Ltd. (ARX: $4.60) all talked about restoring output. By Bloomberg's estimates, approximately 200,000 barrels a day of formerly shut-in production is flowing once again.
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