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How low can it go?

With prices in free fall, the $64,000 ($23 billion) question is how far, and for how long?

Read more...First it was $80. Then $75. Then $50. Now there's talk from some corners that WTI might go as low as US$30/bbl before finding a bottom. And then begins the long, slow climb back to the new status quo, which most agree won't be anywhere near US$100/bbl.

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Silver lining

Canada's energy and political leadership could use the price crisis to rethink the resource economy

Read more...When good times roll, nobody likes a doomsayer preaching that the sky is falling. Likewise, during economic crises, you'll probably just earn ridicule if you point out how good things actually are. Yet, with all the gloom over low oil prices, maybe it's worthwhile to brighten things up for a moment and remember that it's usually a good exercise to look for the positive in the negative.

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Hedging the future

Read more...In a climate of price pessimism, selling forward is seen as a recipe for survival

All companies are not created equal. They work in similar environments and get clobbered by the same economic events, but their narratives are different. Consider, for example, how—or whether—they use forward hedges for risk management.

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Frac talk

What it will take to change public opinion on fracking in eastern Canada

Read more...At a time when global oil producers are battling for market share, the debate over fracking in Canada's eastern provinces has slipped from back burner to cold storage. Quebec may have just come out of a fracking moratorium, but it's no closer to resource play development than New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, all of which are holding "No Fracking" signs.

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Fuelling efficiency

Read more...As vehicles become increasingly fuel efficient, don't count on cheaper refined products to spark demand for crude

Often-quoted former baseball player and coach Yogi Berra offered a pearl of wisdom about forecasting several years ago.

"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future," he once said, in speaking about the prospects of his beloved New York Yankees winning a World Series.

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3 per cent effect

Read more...Spending slashed as U.S. output rise prompts OPEC to protect market share

The collapse of oil prices from the summer of 2014 to multi-year lows following OPEC's November decision to hold production levels rather than cut them in an attempt to shore up prices brought deep cuts to capital spending plans in 2015. As oil prices slid to US$57/bbl for WTI and US$61/bbl for Brent in December, oilsands producer Cenovus Energy sliced a 15 per cent cut off its 2015 capital plan. Supermajor ConocoPhillips said it would spend $13.5 billion in 2015, a decrease of 20 per cent from the previous year.

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Waiting game

Read more...Canada eyes participation in nascent U.K. shale gas industry

The U.K. is sitting on a shale gas resource that could dramatically enhance the country's energy security and reduce its dependence on pipeline gas from Norway or Russia.

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