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Oilsands producers face harsh reality of rout: There’s no one to save them this time

Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine needs an average U.S. crude price of about $85 a barrel over its decades-long lifespan to earn a return. Photo: Financial Post.

Imperial Oil’s Kearl mine needs an average U.S. crude price of about $85 a barrel over its decades-long lifespan to earn a return. Photo: Financial Post.

Jeremy van Loon and Rebecca Penty, Bloomberg News/Financial Post, March 23, 2015

The collapse in the market for Canada’s heavy crude below $30 a barrel last week is hammering home a harsh reality for the nation’s oil-sands producers: There’s no one to save them this time.

Unlike previous market crashes that were relatively short- lived, the combination of persistent oversupplies and weakening demand are dealing a severe setback to what’s been one of the biggest growth stories in global energy markets. Oilsands companies such as Suncor Energy Inc. already have been rethinking major developments that can require more than $10 billion in investment. Now even existing projects are barely covering costs or in a losing position. Read the rest of this entry

Shell pulls plug on long-delayed oil sands mine

Stop the Brutal Slaughter of Wolves in Alberta and B.C.

Fort McMurray braces for impact of oil price drop

A large welcome sign greets traffic travelling north on Alberta highway 63 as it  enters the town at the centre of Canada's oil boom, Fort McMurray.File from 2006.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bayne Stanley)

A large welcome sign greets traffic travelling north on Alberta highway 63 as it enters the town at the centre of Canada’s oil boom, Fort McMurray. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bayne Stanley)

Spectre of coming cutbacks sends a chill over city sometimes called Fort McMoney

By Terry Reith, CBC News, Jan 17, 2015

Fort McMurray, Alta., the city at the heart of the oilsands, is already seeing signs of a slowdown as the price of oil sinks.

The boom town has weathered many a bust, only to recover and continue its frenzied growth. But this time there are projections that the price drop could be deep and sustained. That’s bad news for the oilsands, where the cost of production is higher than for conventional oil. Read the rest of this entry

Shell Canada cutting back oilsands workforce

Canada seen as big loser if world gets serious about climate change

Obama would veto Keystone bill, White House says

Members of American Indian Movement (AIM) in Colorado protest Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands.

Members of American Indian Movement (AIM) in Colorado protest Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands.

Republican-controlled U.S. Congress eager to flex muscles on energy file

By Pete Evans, CBC News Jan 6, 2015

The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama would veto any legislation that tries to fast-track the Keystone XL project even as Republican lawmakers tabled a bill that would do just that in Washington today.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he does not expect Obama would sign any legislation that reaches his desk that would unilaterally approve the project, a 1,900-kilometre pipeline that would bring 800,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil to U.S. refineries every day. Read the rest of this entry

Pacific Future Energy recruits former First Nations chiefs to help launch project

Tar Sands Resistance Blowing Huge Hole in Oil Industry’s Bottom Line: Report

tar_sands_blockade‘Business as usual for Big Oil—particularly in the tar sands—is over.’

by Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, October 29, 2014

The growing tide of tar sands resistance—seen in blockades, tree sits, petitions, education efforts and calls to divest—is having a measurable negative impact on the bottom line of the tar sands industry, according to a new report, prompting researchers to declare that “business as usual for tar sands is over.”

Published Wednesday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and Oil Change International, the report, Material Risks: How Public Accountability Is Slowing Tar Sands Development (pdf), finds that tar sands production revenues were down about $30.9 billion from 2010 through 2013. And according to the report, more than half of that lost revenue, roughly $17 billion, can be attributed to the fierce grassroots campaigns that have sprung up throughout North America in the past few years.

Read the rest of this entry

Keystone pipeline foes energized as tumbling crude prices pinch oil sands

Members of American Indian Movement (AIM) in Colorado protest Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands.

Members of American Indian Movement (AIM) in Colorado protest Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands.

Jim Snyder, Financial Post/Bloomberg News, October 27, 2014

Falling oil prices have energized opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

U.S. benchmark crude has tumbled 10% this month, closing at $81.01 a barrel in New York trading last week, and further declines are forecast. At $75, a government analysis said producers may be discouraged from developing Canada’s oil sands without pipelines like Keystone.

“It changes the narrative quite a bit,” Anthony Swift, an international lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, said of the tumble in crude prices. Read the rest of this entry

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