Fri, Jun. 26, 4:58 PM
- Alberta's government names the top executive of a province-owned bank, ATB Financial CEO Dave Mowat, to head a panel to review oil and natural gas royalty payments and issue recommendations by year’s end.
- The announcement to move ahead with the royalty review, even as oil-rich Alberta struggles with sharply lower crude prices, comes a day after the province said it would double a carbon tax levied on large-scale emitters of greenhouse gases over the next two years.
- Alberta is home of the Canadian subsidiaries of energy giants Exxon Mobil (XOM, IMO), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Total (NYSE:TOT), among others.
- Among other top Alberta oil producers: SU, OTCPK:HUSKF, CVE, CNQ, ECA, TLM, OTCQX:COSWF, CPG, OTCPK:PEGFF
Thu, Jun. 25, 1:04 PM
- Alberta's new government says it will raise the province's existing carbon tax on industrial emitters starting next year, the first step in revamping regulations to curb rising greenhouse gas output from surging oil sands production.
- The price will rise to C$20/metric ton in 2016 from C$15 now, and increase to C$30 in 2017, when the rules will expire, the environment ministry says; large emitters will be required to reduce emissions by 15% next year and 20% in 2017, compared with a 12% reduction this year.
- Alberta’s oil sands have become a target for environmentalists because of their significant carbon footprint, and the new NDP government had campaigned on a promise to toughen the province’s environmental standards.
- Among Alberta's top oil producers: SU, IMO, XOM, OTCPK:HUSKF, CVE, CNQ, ECA, TLM, OTCQX:COSWF, CPG, OTCPK:PEGFF
Thu, Jun. 18, 10:18 AM
- Concerned that pledges by the newly elected left-leaning government in Alberta may stifle spending by energy companies and kill jobs, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ +0.5%) President Steve Laut says his company is considering shifting investment away from the province.
- While ~73% of CNQ's assets are in Alberta, Canada's largest heavy oil producer could devote more spending to operations in Africa, the North Sea, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Laut says.
- Earlier this week, new Premier Rachel Notley said the government will push ahead with a tax increase for corporations to 12% from the current 10%, policies critics say will prove hostile to the province's dominant oil and gas sector and accelerate its downward spiral.
- Laut also expresses measured support for a carbon pricing system in Alberta, but only if the program is used to fund new technology to reduce greenhouse gases, in a somewhat different take than the broad support recently offered by Suncor (SU -0.2%) CEO Steve Williams.
Wed, Jun. 17, 2:21 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.4%) says its Q2 production will be reduced by ~7,500 bbl/day as a result of wildfires in Alberta that shut in output at its Primrose and Kirby South projects.
- Meanwhile, CNQ's 125K bbl/day Horizon oil sands project resumed synthetic crude output on Monday after maintenance work was completed after a five-day extension.
- Also, CNQ President Steve Laut says he expects Alberta's royalty, regulatory and environmental burdens will be "reasonable," since Alberta needs to remain competitive with other Canadian provinces.
Fri, Jun. 12, 8:32 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) says full production has resumed at its 80K bbl/day Primrose and its 25K bbl/day Kirby South projects in Alberta nearly three weeks after a nearby forest fire forced evacuations.
- CNQ has not provided a cost estimate for lost production.
- Earlier: Cenovus resumes operations at Foster Creek oil sands project
Tue, Jun. 9, 8:22 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) and Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) have resumed production at sites shut by a two-week-old wildfire in northern Alberta.
- CNQ says it expects to resume full production later this week at its 80K bbl/day Primrose site and its 30K bbl/day Kirby South site; the Primrose site had been evacuated and shut down, while Kirby South was forced to cut output because of the temporary closure of a pipeline.
- CVE says it began increasing output at its 135K bbl/day Foster Creek location over the weekend, but has not said when output would return to normal.
- The fires had shut down ~10% of Canada’s oil sands output, or ~233K bbl/day.
Thu, Jun. 4, 5:58 PM
- Cenovus Energy's (NYSE:CVE) 135K bbl/day Foster Creek oil sands project and Canadian Natural Resources' (NYSE:CNQ) 80K bbl/day Primrose site now have been shut for a week after workers were evacuated when a wildfire threatened the two sites.
- But while the fire remains a threat, officials have allowed both companies to return some staff to their sites to prepare for normal operations.
- CNQ has resumed some production at its Kirby South project after a third-party pipeline shutdown, and the site began ramping up yesterday.
- Though the two companies had combined production losses of more than 1M barrels of oil, neither has issued a warning that the project shutdowns will impact their Q2 earnings or revised production estimates.
Mon, Jun. 1, 5:33 PM
- Firefighters report some progress fighting wildfires in Alberta's oil producing region but a number of oil sands projects remain shut down, keeping ~10% of total oil sands production offline.
- The number of fires has dropped to 35 from 42 on Friday, with five considered out of control.
- The wildfire hazard in the Lac la Biche region, where Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) and Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) evacuated their respective Foster Creek and Primrose projects more than a week ago, was downgraded today to “moderate” from “extreme” by Alberta's government.
- CVE also evacuated workers from its non-producing Narrows Lake site last week due to a different fire, and says that blaze is now under control.
- Statoil (NYSE:STO) had evacuated non-essential staff from its Leismer oil sands project with no impact to production, and now says it hopes to remobilize evacuated workers this week.
- A wildfire burning near MEG Energy’s (OTCPK:MEGEF) Christina Lake site also remains out of control.
Mon, Jun. 1, 2:46 PM
- Canadian oil industry executives say the new plan by Alberta's premier to boost job creation by increasing oil refining and processing in the province instead of elsewhere is an unrealistic "dream" because costs and infrastructure needed for such facilities make it difficult to achieve.
- "There are huge hurdles," a Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) VP said at an RBC Capital conference in New York, such as the fact that U.S. refineries are already set up to handle the heavy crude that Alberta produces: “The best economic solution is to get that crude to these facilities,” said an exec at Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO), the Canadian company majority owned by Exxon (NYSE:XOM).
- Building a refinery in Alberta would have cost Husky Energy (OTCPK:HUSKF) double what it ended up paying for stakes in existing facilities in Ohio, according to the company's COO.
- The focus on creating jobs should not trump economics, Suncor (NYSE:SU) CFO Alister Cowan told the conference.
Thu, May 28, 12:38 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.3%) is started with an Overweight rating and $43 price target at J.P. Morgan, which says the company has the "best in class" free cash flow story in the Canadian oil sands.
- The firm says it likes CNQ's high-quality asset base, with a growing exposure to the Canadian oil sands and top-tier production growth potential.
- JPM cautions patience, as CNQ's free cash flow could be negative over the next year if Brent oil prices remain below $70/bbl, but the firm expects free cash flow to inflect within a year, rewarding investors.
Wed, May 27, 6:23 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) says it is delaying setting out detailed future spending plans due to uncertainty about the energy policies of Alberta’s newly elected government.
- Canada's top independent oil producer had planned to hold an institutional investor open house on June 17 but says it will be deferred until greater clarity on government policies allows the company to finalize spending plans.
- The new premier, Rachel Notley, says she has no plans to force her government to speed up work on new policies despite CNQ's decision.
Wed, May 27, 2:37 PM
- Wildfires in northern Alberta have spread farther into the oil sands area, prompting the shutdown of ~230K bbl/day of production and keeping ~10% of the province's output offline.
- Cenovus Energy (CVE -0.7%) said yesterday it evacuated workers from its Narrows Lake oil sands project and Birch Mountain natural gas plant because of the fires; Narrows Lake is not yet producing, and workers were finishing the camp project there when they were evacuated.
- CVE already had closed its 135K bbl/day Foster Creek operations and evacuated 1,700 workers, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.6%) has cut 18K bbl/day of output at its Kirby South oil sands operation and 80K bbl/day from its Primrose facility, MEG Energy (OTCPK:MEGEF) halted operations at its Christina Lake site, and Statoil (STO -0.3%) says its Leismer site remains in operation but it will evacuate non-essential staff.
- Economists warn that the fires could further cut Canada’s GDP, already hit by the collapse in oil prices; oil sands extraction directly accounts for 2% of GDP but total energy extraction and support activities account for 6% of GDP, Bank of America says.
Tue, May 26, 10:18 AM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -2.7%) shut production yesterday from its Kirby South oil sands operation in Alberta, raising the amount of production brought offline because of the nearby forest fire that began earlier in the weekend to 233K bbl/day, or ~10% of the province’s total oil sands output.
- CNQ already had shut 80K bbl/day of production at its Primrose facility, and Cenovus Energy (CVE -2.7%) had closed its 135K bbl/day Foster Creek operations in Alberta.
- MEG Energy (OTCPK:MEGEF) also said it had suspended operations at its Christina Lake oil sands project and moved non-essential staff from the site due to the potential risk of the fires.
Mon, May 25, 12:11 AM
- Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) has shut down operations at the 135K bbl/day Foster Creek oil sands project and Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) closed its 80K bbl/day Primrose project after a forest fire broke out on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in Alberta.
- CVE and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) each own 50% of Foster Creek, with CVE's share of the production representing 31% of total company-wide average oil output of 218K bbl/day; Primrose's production represents less than 10% of CNQ's total corporate output.
- More than 7% of Canada's oil sands production has been shut down by the fire, which started Friday and is considered "out of control."
Fri, May 15, 2:45 PM
- Canada says it is committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, partly by introducing new regulations on its oil and gas sector.
- Environment Minister Aglukkaq says Canada will cut its emissions to 515 metric megatons by 2030 from 726 metric megatons in 2013; earlier this week, Ontario - Canada’s most populous province - set its own 2030 target of 112 megatons, which would represent a 46% cut from 2005 levels.
- To meet the new target, Canada will develop regulations to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, such as industrial leaks and gas flares, as well as new rules to control emissions from the electricity and chemical sectors, including from nitrogen fertilizers.
- Relevant tickers: SU, ENB, TRP, IMO, CNQ, CVE, TCK, TAC, OTCQB:HUSKF, OTCQX:COSWF
Thu, May 7, 12:47 PM
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ -0.6%) is lower after Q1 earnings beat expectations amid record production, but unadjusted earnings resulted in the company's first quarterly loss in more than four years.
- CNQ says Q1 output totaled a record 898K boe/day, up 31% Y/Y, with crude oil production rising 23% and natural gas production increasing 51%, but cash flow fell 36% to C$1.37B due to lower commodity prices.
- CNQ says Q1 operating costs to produce oil and natural gas liquids fell 22% Y/Y.
- CNQ also reduces its 2015 capital program by another C$300M, now targeting spending of ~C$5.7B after announcing spending cuts in January and March.
- Says options for its royalty lands and royalty revenue portfolio include a sale or spinoff.
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