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Alberta Prepares Its Oil Weapon

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

- Newly sworn in Alberta Premier Jason Kenney signed into law a bill that gives the province the option to simply close the taps on oil flowing to neighboring British Columbia in a new effort to push through the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that BC is fighting. Kenney says the point is not to deliberately cut shipments to B.C. Instead, he’s seeking the ultimate leverage in the Trans Mountain battle. The BC government has responded with a constitutional challenge to attempt to block the law. Turning off the taps is a desperate move as Alberta needs Trans Mountain to ship more fuels to BC. But that isn’t Alberta’s only problem: It also needs more refineries to produce more fuel.

And as this transportation saga continues, producers are taking the hit. A junior Canadian gas E&P company, Trident Exploration Corp., abruptly shut down this week, simply abandoning some 4,700 wells and telling shareholders and bondholders that they wouldn’t be seeing any reimbursement. Trident doesn’t have the funds to operate or the ability to enter into credit protection. That means Canada now has seen a total of 7,700 wells abandoned. (Note the flipside of this with Suncor energy earnings, above).

- In Libya, General Haftar’s offensive continues without advancing further into Tripoli, but now he is using the National Oil Company (NOC) facilities for military purposes. He has seized the NOC’s…






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