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Canada Oil Industry to Shed 7,300 Jobs This Year

Canada's oil industry could see another 7,300 jobs lost this year, said the Petroleum Labour Market Information division of Energy Safety Canada, as quoted by Global News.

The job loss will be the result of industry consolidation, PetroLMI said, as companies merge to reduce their cost burden. This year, the body sees total direct employment in Canada's oil patch at 160,700, down from 188,800 in 2019. By 2023, this year's number will rise to some 176,000, PetroLMI also said.

"Since 2014, we are down almost 59,000 jobs, about 26 per cent of our workforce," said PetroLMI vice president Carol Howes. In August 3014, before the oil price crisis unfurled, Canada's oil industry employed 229,000 people directly.

The Canadian oil industry faces a twin challenge, the CBC said in a recent industry analysis focusing on Alberta. On the one hand, the country's oil heartland is looking for ways to keep people employed in the industry. On the other, the province needs to find a way to fit in with the federal agenda for a cleaner energy future.

According to data from PetroLMI, the oil and gas industry of Alberta has shed a total of 36,000 jobs since a peak hit in December 2013, when it employed 171,000 people. By February 2021, this had fallen to a bit over 134,000, CBC reported.

The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project by U.S. President Biden, for example, cost the Canadian oil industry 1,100 jobs. Cenovus' merger with Husky Energy will add another 2,100 layoffs to Alberta's—and Canada's—total.

Data from Dealogic shows that Canada's energy deals between the start of 2021 and March 18 totaled $18 billion, the highest combined value of energy deals in more than 25 years. Moreover, Canadian energy deals accounted for 16.2 percent of the global M&As between January 1 and March 18, the highest share since 2002.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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