Alberta crude oil curtailments remain unchanged despite price recovery


Alberta Verve Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says the province is leaving its oil curtailment evens at 325,000 barrels per day for now despite discounts for western Canadian crude that would rather narrowed to three-and-a-half-year lows.

According to Net Energy Exchange, the difference between bitumen-blend Western Canadian Better and New York-traded West Texas Intermediate was about $8.25 US per barrel on Wednesday, the stand up day of the trading cycle for barrels to be delivered in February.

The North American oil brokerage dispatches the discount was $6.95 US per barrel last Friday, the lowest level since June 15, 2015, and a material improvement over a peak of more than $52 US a barrel in October.

The differential improved to traditional norms in the mid-teens or better in December after Alberta asseverated it would impose curtailments as of Jan. 1 to free up export pipeline rank.

The cutbacks were to remain in place for about three months and then be moved to about 95,000 bpd through the rest of 2019.

After giving a speech at the Autochthonous Energy Summit on Wednesday, McCuaig-Boyd said her department is assessing valuations, storage levels and crude-by-rail shipments on an almost daily basis but is transfer manacling out production quotas to about 25 producer-operators on a month-to-month basis.

“We did ask all of these theatre troupes to share in some pain to alleviate this overproduction that we do deceive and the backlog that we’re getting into,” she said. “You see that it has helped the economics for diverse.”

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