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Energy Summary for Oct. 16, 2020

2020-10-16 19:42 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery lost eight cents to $40.88 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December lost 23 cents to $42.93 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $11.00 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for November lost one cent to $2.77. The TSX energy index lost 1.08 points to close at 66.83.

The government of Alberta plans to resume oil and gas land sales, months after suspending them as the COVID-19 pandemic flattened demand (and companies' wallets). Provincial Energy Minister Sonya Savage confirmed to the Financial Post that auctions will resume by the end of the year. "We have to open those land sales up, otherwise that capital will be going somewhere else," she said. She added that the government is looking into "modernizing" the sales process to ensure that the land still fetches a decent price.

Alberta deferred its land sales in April, following the lead of British Columbia, which did so in March. The hope was that the suspensions would not last long. In Alberta, the proposed deferral period was just 90 days. In June, however, it said the deferral would stay in place until at least fall. Now companies will have to wait until late fall or even winter. British Columbia, busy with an unexpected provincial election, has not made any noises about resuming sales. Meanwhile, gung-ho Saskatchewan never cancelled them at all. Its most recent land auction was on Aug. 11 and the next is scheduled for Oct. 27. Of course, land sales are a much more leisurely affair in Saskatchewan than Alberta. So far in 2020, Saskatchewan has held three land sales and brought in a total of $4.55-million. Alberta held six land sales in 2020 before suspending them and reaped a total of $25.8-million.

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