Oil sands stocks hit hard by reserves move
Canada’s most valuable oil companies Suncor and Canadian Natural Resource – together worth over $100bn – were trading down over 3% on Thursday before recovering some ground following news that 2m barrels of oil per day – equal to Canada's total daily exports to the US – will be released onto the market over the next month.
The International Energy Agency said 28 of its members, with the US providing about half of the total, would tap their strategic oil reserves in an effort to make up for lost output as Libya's civil war drags on.
Libyan oil production fell from 1.58m barrels per day in January to just 100,000 bpd in May, while exports have stopped entirely, according to the International Energy Agency.
The first occasion was during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the second when Hurricane Katrina damaged oil rigs and refineries in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.
Since 2000 Canada’s oil sands output has more than doubled: from 600,000 barrels to about 1.5m barrels per day in 2010. Canada supplies 2m barrels per day or 22% of US crude oil imports, up from 15% a decade earlier.
Oil sands mining are not typically associated with Africa and the continent’s two mega-projects, Italy's state-owned oil company's project in the Congo Basin and French giant Total's operations on the island of Madagascar, are running into trouble with governments and environmentalists.