Graphic licensed to Brian Zinchuk via Storyblocks

If you haven’t been paying attention to oil markets, now might be the time, as significant benchmarks have hit their lowest point in nearly year for WTI, and nearly two years for WCS.

According to BNN Bloomberg, as of 2:25 p.m. on Dec. 5, Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading for US$74.28, down US$2.65. That price is the lowest since closing at US$73.79 per barrel on Dec. 23, 2021, nearly one year ago.

But it’s Western Canadian Select (WCS) which has been much harder hit. It was trading at US$46.05 per barrel, down US$3.00. That’s the lowest price for WCS since Feb. 4, 2021.

While there is always a differential due to the quality of oil (heavy oil being of a lower quality and more difficult to handle and refine), when the differential gets this high, it means money is being left on the table. The nearly US$28 differential is now getting in the range where, historically, the Saskatchewan government has expressed concern about the WCS/WTI differential, and the lost potential revenues as a result. Increased takeaway capacity, specifically pipelines to tidewater, have been seen as an answer. While the Trans Mountain Expansion is under construction, it is taking much longer than expected, and is more than double its budget. The proposed Northern Gateway and Energy East projects, both of which were supposed to be in service several years ago, were both killed in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

These numbers also mean that all geopolitical risk from the Ukraine war have been eliminated from the market, despite the war being nowhere close to over, and Russia under significant sanctions for oil and gas export. While Canada had, in the early days of the war, promised to increase oil production by 300,000 barrels per day, both Premier Scott Moe and former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, at the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show in September, noted they have heard nothing from the federal government to make that happen.

  • 0076 Latus only
    0076 Latus only
  • 0073 SaskWorks-Pipeline Online
    0073 SaskWorks-Pipeline Online
  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001

 

Sask. drilling rig count down to 29, with just one rig working in southwest Saskatchewan on Dec. 6

Lithium in SK Part 1: As the race for lithium takes off, Saskatchewan is seeing the dawn of a new industry