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Alberta sees ‘no point’ in bigger oil curtailment orders – Premier

Alberta sees “no point” in further increases to its restrictions on oil production amid a global glut, because low prices are prompting voluntary reductions, Premier Jason Kenney said on Friday.

A Saudi-Russia price war and reduced oil demand due to coronavirus spread have put the world’s crude producers, including in Canada, under extreme stress.

“I don’t think government-mandated curtailment is relevant at this point,” Kenney said.

Western Canadian Select (WCS) traded below $5 US a barrel Friday, falling to a record low of $4.58 per barrel that morning. West Texas Intermediate, the North American benchmark, fell to $21.55 US.

Although curtailment was not being considered, Kenney said other options were on the table — including introducing tariffs on foreign oil exports.

Kenney also suggested an investigation could be opened, in cooperation with the United States, into the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and what he called “predatory dumping” of crude by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) into North America.

“Once we get through the [COVID-19] downturn and see demand return, then I think at some point in the future we may want to pursue something like a coordinated approach to curtailment of production across North America,” Kenney said. “These are all conceptual policy instruments at this point.

“What I’m trying to remind our partners in Washington and places like Texas of is, we must be partners on a North American basis.”

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