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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added 22 cents to $41.29 on the New York Merc, while Brent for September added three cents to $43.34 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $9.35 to WTI, up from a discount of $9.40. Natural gas for August added two cents to $1.81. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 78.88.
At the beginning of the week, Chevron's $13-billion (U.S.) takeover offer for Noble Energy kicked off predictions of a tidal wave of U.S. shale consolidation. Now similar speculation is stirring north of the border, following Kelt Exploration Ltd.'s (KEL: $1.91) announcement of a sale of B.C. Montney assets to ConocoPhillips. As Scotia Capital analyst Paul Cheng wondered in the title of his new research note, "Will U.S. Companies Begin Flocking to Canada?"
This would represent a major reversal. The Canadian oil patch has seen far more fleeing than flocking in recent years: Since 2016, foreign companies that have either left or reduced their presence in Canada include Marathon Oil, Devon Energy, Norway's Equinor, France's Total and even Conoco (which sold its oil sands assets to Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE: $6.73) in 2017). Even the former Calgary powerhouse EnCana Corp. moved its headquarters to the United States and changed its name to Ovintiv Inc. (OVV: $14.76). If Canada is now managing to tempt foreign investors back, that would be an impressive turnaround.
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