Oil Sands Saturday – Canada’s Federal Budget

Federal Budget Is Expected Tuesday

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is set to release the next phase of the Liberal party’s spending plan, and without being a finance expert myself, I can pretty much assume two things: a bigger deficit, and likely no “balance” any time soon… but hey, Tuesday’s a-ways-away! Anything could happen!

$60 bucks ‘a barrel!

One thing I can almost guarantee that will be noted is the change to their target “Oil” expectations… If you read my previous post on the subject, you’ll be aware of my frustration with using WTI as a Benchmark for crude in Canadian, especially in a Federal Budget!!.. yet here we are!

With West Texas Intermediate (WTI) holding above US$60 per barrel, Ottawa will certainly make note of the “dramatic-turnaround”! In Ottawa’s 2017 Budget, they had forecast crude wouldn’t breach the $60 level until 2021. So good news Canada, Your ahead of schedule!! UGH!!

Are they going to tout that new number as a good sign for the Canadian economy?… Probably.

Are they going to highlight their policies in Carbon futures as working and helpful?… Probably.

Should I bite my tongue and move on?… Probably!

What to do for our global business “Competitiveness”?

Well, that’s a tough question that can only be answered on Tuesday, but as our neighbours to the south CUT taxes, I don’t have the same expectation for this upcoming Budget.

I’ve mentioned in the past that there is a thin line between government regulations & government interference,yet we need to keep industry in check as a whole, without strangling our own businesses.

How ’bout Oil prices? Well, the spread between Western Canada Select prices (WCS) and the WTI has shrunk, but ironically, the increase in RAIL opportunity has helped close the gap, but without adequate pipeline that number in my opinion will never be 0. (It also won’t be equal because of quality of the crude compared to WTI, but the gap can be closed, certainly! More on that for another post!)

Oddly enough, it seems the BC Wine-ban may not have won over hearts, but it may have changed some MINDS…

Data released from an Angus Reid poll on Thursday showed that across Canada, almost 55% of Canadians felt that B.C. was in the wrong for trying to hold-up TransMountain Pipeline.

Also, in British Columbia ALONE, only 52% of BC residents thought that the Premier John Horgan was in the right….

Some good news on Line 3

The Enbridge pipeline is quietly continuing to plug along with the replacement project and is still on plan for 2019 service… if numbers are still as expected, it will handle upwards of 300,000 bbls of takeaway capacity. (Good news!)

Blue Sky’s Ahead?

We will see next week what the Federal Government has planned for our energy sector. They’ve been pretty quiet on Renewables as far as I concerned which is a little odd considering the metaphorical “finger-on-the-scale” against Oil Sands, so it truly is hard for me to get an idea of what to expect.. which is exactly what I expected.

That’s your Oil Sands Saturday!

I’ll be talking to you Next week from Regina Legislature!!

Quick shout-out to my brother Constable Hall whom I haven’t seen in a few months, hopefully I can avoid a speeding ticket this trip!

Be kind to your local First Responder’s everybody, they all have family too!

Hall brothers on Remembrance Day 2017


Kelly Hall


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