Saturday, October 25, 2008

There are some news stories running in Alberta today. Stelmach's royalty gambit is one and the other is Carbon Capture leadership urged. One is in the Calgary Herald the other in the Edmonton Journal. links and so on at

Mr. Boutilier Alberta's former bad guy minister of Environment gave up another nugget of information that demonstrates just how low our oil regime is:
"But we're still waiting for the federal government. Stephen Harper has to come into the sandbox," said Boutilier, noting that the federal government gets more out of the oil sands in taxes than the provincial government.

Alberta's Energy gambit is an outright lie; a grandee waltz between the oil companies and Stelmach's crew. Mel Knight, prior to the last election, changed our currency take on royalty from US$ to Canadian$ knowing full well the balance between the two countries was at an 85 cent dollar. Today at an 80 cent dollar Albertans are losing 20% of their royalty program through exchange! Add to this the current rate of 19% taken as a royalty rather than 25% as originally contracted and you have a total of 26% loss in royalty to the province of Alberta. Mr. Boutilier Alberta's former bad guy minister of Environment gave up another nugget of information that demonstrates just how low our oil regime is:

Transcrips from the CBC Blog
Josephjb wrote:
With all those billions of dollars being made by the oil companies as you say?, Why are some many companies leaving Alberta to other Provinces and to other Countries and why is drilling level down to a 10 year low?
Posted 2008/10/25
at 7:43 PM ET

Alberta Tar Sands is producing 1.5 million barrels per day.
Using 100.00 for an easy figure:
At 25% US the return to Alberta would be 25.00 US or 30.00 Canadian
30.00 X 1,500,000 barrels is 45,000,000 (million dollars) per day; Gone.

At the present rate of 19% Canadian $
1 barrel returns 19.00 Canadian X 1,500,000 is 28,500,000 dollars

The difference in the two scales represents a 16, 500.000 per day dollar loss to Albertans off their original deal of 25%!

Times 365 days a year is a 6.0022 billion dollar loss to the taxpayers of this province and is the explanation for the elaborate lies!

A 62.50 barrel of oil would return 62.5% of the figures I have put up.

The rates for the drilling vary on different depths and locations. They are deep and more expensive to drill and recover oil from than were the fields before they matured and probably more expensive than the greener patches next door.

The properties they have up perhaps don't look as good as the ones already offered; I don't know. It could be the oil companies are betting on the Conservatives not getting in again; I don't know.

Stelmach on TV said "I hear the complaints of the drilling companies and I can tell them I will look after them” Now, just what he did and how, I don't know. The Government documents indicate that oil is still priced US$

One thing you can take home to the bank and I'm sure the Oil companies are considering it. If Alberta raises the royalty rates beyond the 25% deal, other jurisdictions will have to follow suit.

As it stands now, the new deal brings home less to this province than the old deal.

Josephjb wrote: I THINK SOMETHING WRONG? Posted 2008/10/25 at 3:56 PM ET

Your are so very correct Joseph!
The oil companies are picking up 2.5 billion dollars a year more now, than they would have under the original agreement of 25% at US$
There is a lot riding on this new fair deal for all sham that causes each of the oil concerns to whine or posture in their turn.
Foremost are the oil companies performing in order to support the Stelmach government so they can hang onto this windfall profit!
Next the Success of selling this program to the public is where the Conservatives next win in the election is at. What is wrong is the whole dam thing is a house of cards built on lies and it is going to bite them in the arse!

Josephjb wrote:secretive deals being made of which Albertans are not being told about? Posted 2008/10/25 at 3:56 PM ET

Not secretive; marginal outright lies.
The 19% royalty showed up in a one day paper run in the Edmonton Journal at the time. It was pulled almost immediately.
When the publication came out on the "Fair Share royalty deal" "Good for everyone" It showed projected royalty dollars rising.
Two things were at play in the publication:
1. The increased royalty revenues were those of the anticipated increase in production and new production coming on line.
Although published as being part of the new energy deal, they had nothing at all to do with it. The graph captured public attention. At no point has the Government told the General public what the actual royalty prercentages are! Only Greater returns.

2. At the bottom of the graph dealing tar sands (I'm sure it is still up on the Government site) the tiny print at the bottom says "in Canadian Funds" This was at a time when Alberta's royalty was 25% New York sweet crude prices in US$ I challenged it at the time and published the letters on you will have to dig a bit.

In the mean time the oil companies are playing their part screaming and kicking down the public relations path. Exploration companies moved to other geographical areas, not jurisdictions. Saskatchewan was and still is opening their tar sands in the north and their oil shale in the south.

Both are shallow well experience. Colorado and Utah just opened their shale drilling. Utah then backed out; too expensive. Prices made it a profitable venture. Likewise BC opened their oil shale in northern BC again, prices made it a good venture. Whether these ventures will be seen as profitable in today’s climate is something to be seen!

Alberta deep oil drilling into already mature fields is a lot of deep multi hole explorations. The number of companies may be down but the number of holes is probably up.

The point is, with Alberta royalty being lower now than they have ever been since start up and the New Oil Program at the top when hitting 100 dollars a barrel again will only return 12% it is definatey not the Alberta Royalty program that is causing the moves. The only people who are making hay on this is the Government spin doctors. You may recall he recently paid over a million dollars of taxpayer money to some old buddies to open a new campaign on how good we are to oil. Will those moves stay away? I think probably not although that does not mean they will come back either.
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