We expect that most of our readers are aware that oil prices are way down this year and that the new OPEC strategy may mean that it may be several years until we see $100 per barrel oil again, if ever. The impact on gasoline prices in the U.S. is also easily garnered from the price … Read More
Newsletter: Narrowing Canadian oil price spreads likely to be short-lived
Canadian oil industry watchers noted a Canadian oil price recovery in April and May as the heavy oil benchmark Western Canadian Select (WCS), climbed back from a 2014 trough of $28/bbl below West Texas Intermediate (WTI) in July 2014 to a high of $8/bbl below WTI in mid-May 2015 (see Figure 1). Of course, in … Read More
Newsletter: Despite Falling Prices North America’s Fossil Fuel Sector Makes Healthy Profits
This post was co-authored by Shakuntala Makhijani and Lorne Stockman. Oil, gas, and coal prices all fell dramatically in 2014, but North American fossil fuel industry* profits still totaled a healthy $257 billion. These profits were a modest 22% less than 2013, with the declines unsurprisingly concentrated in the upstream fossil fuel industry. The coal mining … Read More
Newsletter: On the Edge: 1.4 Million Barrels per Day of Proposed Tar Sands Oil is on Life Support
It is no secret that Canadian tar sands oil is among the highest carbon, highest cost sources of oil in the world. Its rapid growth over the past decade has been the result of a near perfect storm of conditions that were never going to be sustained. Ranging from unfettered market access, soaring U.S. oil … Read More
Newsletter: Crude-by-rail terminals update: the surplus grows
In our May 2014 report on the burgeoning crude-by-rail trade, we tracked, among other things, the capacity of loading and unloading terminals in the U.S. and Canada. These terminals are also mapped on our crude-by-rail map. We noted in the report that there was a large surplus in the capacity to load and unload crude … Read More
Newsletter: Counter Trends: Is an Oil Production Decline Imminent, or Will Tax Breaks Trigger a Renewed Surge?
Crude oil prices remained low and unstable over the past month, causing U.S. oil producers to continue to idle drilling rigs (Figure 1).  In light of these trends, the EIA released data suggesting a production decline in some shale plays may be imminent. The March EIA monthly Drilling Productivity Report found that while increasing productivity … Read More
U.S. Oil Rig Count Down but Will Production Follow Suit?
Oil and gas companies have responded to the dramatic fall in oil prices over the past few months by idling drilling rigs. Since last year’s peak rig count, the total count of operational U.S. oil rigs fell by 38.7%, from 1,609 on October 10, 2014 to 986 as of February 27, 2015. U.S. Rig Counts … Read More
Oil Benchmark Price Trends and Implications for Crude-by-Rail
While the steep decline in oil prices since June has been well documented, perhaps less noticeable have been the changes in the spread – or price differential – between Brent (an international oil price benchmark) and WTI (a major North American benchmark). As the oil price decline took hold, the previously wide Brent-WTI spread shrank … Read More