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Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

(OP)
So being an Albertan and an engineer in the oil and gas sector, I thought I would probe eng-tips to get everyone's take on the future of the O&G industry in Canada.
We've seen these downturns many times before, and usually the recovery begins just a few years after, with the good boom times following a few after that.

For some reason though, it feels like this time is substantially different, given both levels of government doing everything in their power to stifle growth, and the unprecedented level of e-NGO involvement in the regulatory process.

Does anyone have any stories or opinions on where we are at and if/when we may start to claw our way out of this mess?

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

In west Texas, they are starting to build new rigs if that says anything. It probably isn't profitable though.

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

I was working a lot in Alberta in 1986 for the first layoffs the industry as a whole had ever had. The feeling then was that the industry would never come back (University of Edmonton actually announced plans to shut down the PE department, I never heard if they followed through). The industry came back from that, but with a much more hands-off government in Ottawa. With the enviro-wackos now in charge of the federal government I am not at all surprised when I hear about another federal regulation kicking the industry I have to wonder if these nuts will actually kill the industry this time.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

Oil and gas is cyclic. We just came out of a decade of sustained high oil prices, with the usual boomtown responses- hiring, crying about shortages of skilled workers, influx of people from the rest of the country and the world at large to fill the void, etc. It will take years for the dust to settle. But the resources are there- oil sands aside, there is still a lot of conventional oil and gas in Alberta. And the gas to oil price differential is still substantial, so some oil sands producers will still be quite profitable. But the boom is over and I see no sign of it coming back soon. There are many reasons for oil prices to remain depressed, and most of them are not regulatory-driven.

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

(OP)
The biggest problem I see with the industry right now is the fact that our WCS product is so heavily discounted from other world oil price benchmarks, given the US has essentially a monopsony on Canadian oil. This is an easily solvable issue - with the approval of a pipeline to the west coast. Our government just needs to stop so readily acquiescing to e-NGOs. I've never seen a country with such self destructive lawmakers.

While it is no trivial task forecasting WTI and WCS prices, the following article provides some good insight to it, the thesis being that US monetary policy plays a larger role than most think:
http://www.tradesmartu.com/blog/oil-getting-cheap-...

So who knows, maybe when the FED is forced to change course we will have a movement in WTI & WCS back towards good times again.

Then again we could have a Japanese-esque lost decade in our industry.

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

Whatever happens won't happen until all the stored reserves get used up. There are pipelines and tankers just sitting with oil, waiting for the market to hit a price so they can sell off.

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

I was laid off after doing downhole wireline logging tool design for 18 years. THe dfw area only had a handful of places that did this type of work, but Baker Hughes and Weatherford both shut down their facilities and moved to Houston. THe company I worked for may or may not survive. Who knows? Makes it tough because im 43 and am going to have to change industries. Im still young enough to get into something new, its just not easy. My wife works, and refuses to move to Houston. Ive never seen the oil industry in such a sad state. Im finding out that we dont make anything in the US anymore. Saudi said a month ago that they are willing to live with 10$barrel oil until the US is out of the business. They can realistically only keep it up for so long, but then you have the reserves like Hamb /|\ above noted. Every storage tank, pipeline etc. is waiting to unload as soon as prices inches high enough. I'm thinking it is going to be a rough few years, but I hope Im wrong.

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

The fundamentals aren't great for oil and gas in Alberta, as it's the most expensive form of a resource the world almost universally agrees that we need to stop using. Pipelines will never be the silver bullet since WCS is simply a less valuable product than Brent, West Texas, and Saudi light crude, at least as long as gasoline and diesel are the main value products. On the flip side, OPEC producers are incentivized to exaggerate reserves so they can pump production, so who knows how much oil they really have.

And in SK, where conventional oil production is our source of production, investment has picked up as oil went north of 50 bucks. So maybe you need to come east.

RE: Future of oil and gas industry in Canada (specifically Alberta)

Put your severance check in a long-term investment account, and try to find work in some other industry.
If there really is an enormous stockpile of oil going unsold because everyone is waiting for the price to go back up before selling it, well that's both ironic and self-defeating, and will drag out the low-price for even longer.

STF

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