Alberta is freaking out after historic plunge in oil prices
Global oil markets fell by more than 30 per cent today, and to say Albertans are concerned would be a severe understatement.
Talks between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies broke down dramatically as of late, ending the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has supported oil prices since 2016 and leading to an all-out price war between the two countries, according to the Edmonton Sun.
As a result, the global standard oil price has dropped as low as $31.02 a barrel — down from about $60 a barrel at the beginning of the year.
According to the Sun, the Alberta treasury loses $355 million in revenue for every $1-a-barrel drop in the average price over the entire year.
Oil has dropped to just over $30/barrel.— Progress Canada (@ProgressCanada_) March 8, 2020
That's catastrophic for Alberta.
It's time for Alberta to abandon the volatile market that is oil and gas and create a sustainable, predictable economy that helps, not hurts, working Albertans.
In anticipation of the global oil price drop, Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage wrote on Twitter Sunday that the government is closely following the situation as well as its impacts on Albertans.
"There are challenges ahead but our energy industry has lowered costs and become efficient over the years," she wrote.
"Albertans are resilient and we’ll get through this."
Following this very closely, along with potential impacts in Alberta. There are challenges ahead but our energy industry has lowered costs and become efficient over the years. Albertans are resilient and we’ll get through this. https://t.co/IAMCIciWnI— Sonya Savage (@sonyasavage) March 8, 2020
Alberta premier Jason Kenney also took to Twitter to comment on the situation.
"OPEC’s decision to drive down prices has very serious implications for the Alberta & Canadian economies," he said. "Our energy producers are now more efficient, innovative and resilient than ever. But we all need to work together to get through what may be a very challenging time."
OPEC’s decision to drive down prices has very serious implications for the Alberta & Canadian economies.— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) March 7, 2020
Our energy producers are now more efficient, innovative and resilient than ever.
But we all need to work together to get through what may be a very challenging time. https://t.co/QK94AZc5Be
But many are frustrated that the situation has gotten to this point after years of unsuccessfully advocating for the province to diversify its economy.
"With oil prices plummeting and investors shunning oil and gas stocks, I’m so very grateful the @Alberta_UCP gov’t doubled down on our oil and gas economy while making big cuts to the post-secondary institutions that could diversify it #whatcouldgowrong #abpoli #ableg #cdnpse," one resident wrote on Twitter today.
Alberta and #ableg needs to finally recognize the serious risks we choose to accept by relying on oil royalties to pay our govt's bills.— Trevor Tombe (@trevortombe) March 8, 2020
We have a problem. We can fix it. But that requires calm leadership and honesty from political leaders on all sides.
"I have been saying for years that we need to diversify our economy, because if we put everything on oil, the OPEC countries can still plummet the price here in Canada," another wrote.
Back in October, Alberta's finance minister Travis Toews called diversifying revenues away from oil and gas a long-term "luxury."
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