Oil Sands Mining News

Commodities boom drives economic growth in several Canadian provinces

A Conference Board of Canada report says high energy and metals prices "are prompting resource companies to invest billions in iron ore projects, nickel processing and offshore oil developments" in Newfoundland and Labrador, generating the largest growth in real GDP this year of all the Canadian provinces. The board's Provincial Outlook - Spring 2011 report issued Wednesday also forecasts that Saskatchewan "will benefit from tax breaks and a hot mining industry."

The Province: bureaucrats say $5.5bn pipeline to BC coast not needed

According to the report in the newspaper senior bureaucrats have told the federal government that the controversial pipeline that would stretch for 1,170km from Brudenheim in Alberta to a new marine terminal at Kitimat in northern British Columbia, offers export capacity that the industry does not need. Last week Stephen Wuori, Enbridge’s president for Liquids Pipelines, vigorously defended the project saying that given that currently 99% of Canada’s $50bn/year exports went to the US, the industry needs to diversify and supply the energy-hungry economies of the Pacific Rim.

Financial Post: Canadian crude fetching premium prices

The Financial Post reports a shortage of Canadian synthetic crude, the result of outages at oil sands operations, has resulted in premium prices for Canadian varieties in May of as much as US$15 a barrel over the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, energy investment dealer Peters & Co. said in a note to clients. The energy investment dealer said the hefty premium, primarily for Edmonton Par, is a significant departure from the discounts of about US$12 a barrel experienced in February. Prices were depressed at the time because of pipeline bottlenecks in the U.S.

Regulatory fight in a Canadian oil-sands box

Columnist Bill Mann writes in MarketWatch on Thursday, a big battle is shaping up over environmental regulation of Canada’s oil sands, the second-largest oil deposits in the world. And, surprisingly, it’s Conservatives against Conservatives.

Shareholders ask for disclosure on ExxonMobil's oil sands investments

Green Century Capital Management filed a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil to disclose information about its investments in Canadian oil sands, Triple Pundit reported on Thursday. By the end of last year, ExxonMobil’s total proved reserves in the oil sands were over 2.78bn barrels — just over 11% of the company’s total proved reserves, according to a press release by Green Century. Canada’s oil sands which is expected to become the primary source of crude to the US have attracted intense scrutiny in recent days as the US Congress heard submissions about the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas.

Devon sees full output at Jackfish 2 in 18 months

Devon Energy Corp. DVN +0.55% Chief Executive John Richels said Wednesday that the oil and gas producer has begun injecting steam into heavy oil wells at the second phase of its Jackfish oil field in Alberta, Canada and expects full production there to begin in 16 to 18 months. The project's first phase is producing 35,000 barrels of oil a day, and additional phases are expected to have similar output, he said.

Reuters: Koch Bros. accused of stonewalling Congress on their Keystone XL Pipeline interest

Reuters reports: Rep. Henry Waxman's attempts to find out if a proposed controversial Canada-to-U.S. Gulf Coast oil sands pipeline will benefit Koch Industries appears to have hit a dead end. Representatives for billionaire brothers and oil magnates Charles and David Koch — major donors to GOP elections and influential conservative organizations — are evidently stonewalling the California Democrat about their possible financial interest in seeing the permit approved for TransCanada's proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline.

Total CEO: oil sands key factor in global crude price, plans no further Canadian acquisitions

According to The Globe & Mail, Christophe de Margerie, the CEO of French energy giant Total on a tour of Canada’s oil sands with members of the company’s international advisory board this week, believes the resource is playing an increasingly important role in setting the global price of crude. Through a string of deals, kicked off by the $1.67bn acquisition of Deer Creek in 2005 and topped by the $1.7bn partnership with Suncor announced late last year, Total has become one of the largest oil sands players. The company plans to spend $20bn in the oil sands by 2020, but no further acquisition are planned reports the Calgary Herald.

Oil sands poised to become largest source of US crude imports

According to testimony before the US Congress concerning the construction of the $7bn Keystone XL pipeline extension from Alberta to Texas, crude produced by Canada’s oil sands, which represent just over half the country’s total production, has already surpassed the total volume of imports from the US number two supplier Mexico. 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. The sands’ 175bn barrels of recoverable oil places Canadian oil reserves third in the world behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The next commodities bubble is coming sooner than you think

To hear the mainstream media tell it, the commodities bubble has burst. Commodities are plunging across the board in response to the latest U.S. data, most of which seems to suggest that the American economic recovery is waning. Oil, which closed at $100 a barrel yesterday, was particularly hard hit, which is why so many suggest the commodities bubble has met its end.

Environment Minister faces oilsands file

For Environment Minister Peter Kent, it only gets harder from here. The minister spent his first hours on the job in the new cabinet receiving an international award for Ottawa’s conservation efforts. Now, he has to take on the oilsands. National parks are the shiny, bright side of Canada’s environmental policy, long recognized for preserving and protecting fragile lands and waters, and reintroducing endangered species. But Kent is also tasked with cutting Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 — with one hand tied behind his back.

How the Rocky Mountain snowpack impacts natural gas prices

At first glance, you might think this is a stretch. How can snowpack levels in the West possibly have anything to do with the price of natural gas nationally? It turns out that Rocky Mountain snowfall has a huge impact… Resulting water runoff from the thawing period changes the capacity of hydropower on the West Coast… and that has a huge impact on natural gas demand. Plus it varies greatly from year to year.

The Contango Report: Brent Crude Oil And Soybeans Offer Solid Roll Yields

Has oil moved into backwardation yet? What does corn’s roll yield look like? How do you know when it’s time to buy — or sell? Each week, we investigate the futures curves of the U.S.’ most important commodities, helping investors better understand the market and seize buy-and-sell opportunities as soon as they arise.

Mining reform needed in Guinea but risks abound

Reforms by Guinea's first freely elected government are needed to clean up a mining sector in disarray after decades of political turmoil, but they risk scaring off investors if they go too far too fast. The world's top bauxite supplier and a new frontier for iron ore, Guinea is rewriting its mining code, probing joint venture deals, and has dealt tough blows to major firms since the election of President Alpha Conde last November.

Gas prices: 'vicious bout of selling' not impacting pump prices yet

Ella Fitzgerald was absolutely brilliant. She had the most rabble-rousingly glorious voice, which cannot help but inspire. So by borrowing a few song sheets from her extensive back catalogue, I’m going to elaborate on some of the key issues in energy through ‘The First Lady of Song.’ First up we’re going to take a look at gasoline, which is ‘Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.’

Today in commodities: trading sideways markets

Markets do not need to trend higher or lower to trade if you trade both from the long and short side. Inside day in Crude oil as prices should close down approximately 1.50%. As we […]

N.A. Energy stops work at Cdn Natural’s Horizon project

now been notified by its customer, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., to suspend overburden removal activities at the Horizon oil sands project near Fort McMurray, Alta. The suspension is being taken while Canadian Natural undertakes repairs to its primary

Canadian company wins right to dig for oilsands in Utah: Daily Brew

Earth Energy Resources Inc. could be the first to break ground in the Utah oil sands after the Canadian company won the right to excavate, according to a story posted by the Daily Brew: The U.S. could be set to open its first oilsands project after an Alberta-based company qualified for a permit to dig on 25 hectares (62-acres) in Utah. Earth Energy Resources Inc. could be the first to break ground in the Utah oil sands after the Canadian company won the right to excavate, according to a story posted by the Daily Brew: The U.S. could be set to open its first oilsands project after an Alberta-based company qualified for a permit to dig on 25 hectares (62-acres) in Utah.

Alberta conservation plan would cancel some oil sands leases: Globe

The government of Alberta, on the global defensive for its management of the oilsands, says it will revoke a number of oil sands leases, leading some in the oil patch to bring up comparisons with Venezuela. The Globe and Mail reports: The Alberta government has proposed new environmental rules that would revoke a number of oil sands leases – including those which already have active projects – in an effort to protect sensitive habitat, wildlife and forest land in the most industrialized area of the province.

Mining consultant Golder buys Marston Group: Montreal Gazette

Golder Associates Corp., one of Canada's best-known specialized mining and environmental consultants, Monday acquired the Marston Group, a supplier of mine planning and geological services to the coal, oilsands and metals mining industries. The Montreal […]

Ottawa fights EU’s dirty fuel label on oil sands: Globe

European Union politicians are preparing to label Canadian oilsands a "dirty fuel," according to a report in the Globe and Mail, which could cause European oil companies to pull back investments in northern Alberta. That is fuelling fears that similar efforts could take place in U.S. states.

Husky raises $300 million through share offering

Husky Energy (TSX:HSE)  has successfully raised $300 million through a public offering of 10 million preferred shares. Shareholders will receive an annual dividend of 4.45%, paid out quarterly, for an initial period ending March 31, […]

Alberta government to tax mining companies for cleanup

The Alberta government will collect three times more revenue than previously under its revamped mine security program, which pledges to collect money for mine reclamation, The Edmonton Journal is reporting. But existing companies will also get about a 10-year break in payments under the new system, which is geared to collecting more money in the later stages of a mine's life than in the early stages.

The battle for bitumen: High-stakes politicking in Washington over Canadian oil sands

The Tyee online news-site, best known for edgy coverage of British Columbia politics, is publishing a series of reports on the hard-ball politicking going on in the corridors of power in Washington over Canadian oil sands. In the first installment, journalist Geoff Dembicki sets the stage for what he describes as a showdown between environmental groups and oil sands lobbyists: The battle line divides two viscerally opposed camps: Those arguing that North America's deepening dependence on Alberta's oil sands industry represents a pragmatic solution to looming energy crises, and those who say relying on oil sands crude marks an irreversible step closer to climate change catastrophe.

Active management now needed in the commodity space – Investec

Investors banking on an across-the-board rise in commodity prices this year are setting themselves up for a fall and they should instead be actively managing for winners, Investec Asset Management said. After several years of commodity prices moving largely as one, Investec's co-chief investment officer Mimi Ferrini looks favourably on active strategies that are bullish on natural gas and crude oil, while playing the interaction between the asset class and related equities, like gold mining companies.