COP27 – after 50 years, UN-led environmental central planning is failing

by David Yager

The primary goal of governments today is to keep the lights on and economies moving. Photo credit: AP/Peter Dejong   “Fossil fuel addiction is hijacking humanity. Renewables are the exit ramp from the climate hell highway. Negotiators at COP27 have a chance to make a difference. They must make it here and now.”  So tweeted United Nations […]

It is time to revisit resource corridors

by David Yager

 In a dramatically changed world, resource corridors could be the catalyst to actually getting something done in Canada. Photo credit: Facebook/Trans Mountain   One of the best ideas that has gone nowhere is the creation of resource corridors for long-distance transportation infrastructure using routes where land-use and development issues are resolved in advance. Historically, the […]

Architects of TMX cost explosion and delays remain unaccountable

by David Yager

How could twinning an existing pipeline that has been operating safely for 69 years be this late and this expensive? Photo credit: Trans Mountain    On June 22, Ottawa’s Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) reported that the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) is “no longer a profitable undertaking.”  The updated cost is $21.4 billion, the latest […]

The world’s remarkable reversal on the future of oil

by David Yager

The message is now to resume normal activities even though ‘civil society’ has spent years trying to crush the industry. Photo credit: YouTube/CBC News   The love/hate relationship between oil companies and the world’s billions of customers is unique in the world of commerce.   Until recently, the plan was to replace oil and gas with […]

The rising value of Mark Carney’s ‘stranded assets’

by David Yager

Former governor of both the Bank of Canada and Bank of England Mark Carney. Photo credit: Reuters/Tolga Akmen   The pre-COVID climate playbook and energy transition are in big trouble.  Not among climate crusaders. For them, the crisis continues.  It is the ordinary people who have more pressing issues.   War. Energy. Food. Inflation. Interest rates.   […]

As the economic impact of weather disasters grows, the need to discuss all factors is increasingly important. Pictured is last month’s mass flooding in southern BC. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward   One of the most frequently quoted and but seldom investigated aspects of climate change is the rising costs of weather-related insurance claims. […]

Europe changes course as green ambitions collide with energy reality

by David Yager

European energy crisis prompts course change about revisiting the role of natural gas in green energy future. Pictured is president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speaking at COP26, Nov. 1, 2021. Photo credit: European Commission   No part of the world has done more to tackle the climate change challenge and execute […]

The world must respect the key role of natural gas in the energy transition

by David Yager

Hard lessons are learned only after the lights go out. Photo credit: FortisBC   The world’s most important but least appreciated energy source is natural gas. While the headlines are about what is good or bad about coal, oil, nuclear power, hydroelectricity and renewables, the second largest global primary energy source is natural gas. BP’s […]

U.S. election will help Canada’s oilpatch no matter who wins

by David Yager

The United States has always played an oversized role in the development, success and future of western Canada’s oil and gas industry.
The upcoming US election on November 3 will affect the Canadian oilpatch yet again. Two materially different presidential outcomes are assured, be it Donald Trump or Joe Biden. The impact will be significant. What happens in the US always is. The effects will not be evenly distributed. There will be winners and losers either way.

The year is only a few weeks old. With more than 90% of 2019 yet to happen, it is not too late to predict what will occur. The following article contains only good news. After the disastrous end to 2018 from the Trans Mountain pipeline decision to the Canadian oil price collapse, no need to rehash what went wrong, or what could go wrong.
This year is my 40th of writing about the Canadian oilpatch. The only conclusion I have reached after four decades of being a non-impartial analyst and reporter of the affairs of our industry during multiple boom and bust cycles is oil people are better at extrapolating than forecasting. We assume that whatever happened yesterday will happen tomorrow and thereafter. If things are good they’ll always be good. If they are bad, they’ll remain awful.

Oilpatch Outflanked Again By False Subsidy Allegations

by David Yager

Years ago, allegations emerged that the oil industry was heavily subsidized by governments, part of an opinion shaping strategy by activists convinced fossil fuels were accelerating climate change. As subsidy estimates grew larger, few questions were asked. Governments had to stop contributing to this planetary threat.
Except it wasn’t true.
While indeed some countries insulate consumers from the full cost of energy for political reasons, the definition of what constituted a subsidy was expanded beyond previous comprehension. In Canada the allegations of subsidies are complete rubbish. The oilpatch has a huge hill to climb to return sanity to the discussion.

It wasn’t an apology nor admission of wrongdoing. But it was certainly an about-face for Steve Williams, the CEO of Suncor Energy Inc. On May 3, Williams was very explicit about why Suncor would not be investing in any new projects in Canada.
“Big investment in the resource industry….is starting to move away from Canada. And that is partly because of taxation, partly to do with royalties, partly to do with the uncertainty – the length of time it takes to get through these regulatory hurdles – and the general belief in the investment community that Canada is not a great place to spend money”.

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