Instead he spent this week spinning why he is not going to get tough on Big Oil, preparing us for lowered expectations regarding his royalty review.
Stelmach touts benefits of existing royalties
Having met with the oil boys in private and having his Energy Minister do the same they knew this was coming down the pike.
A report we have never seen because the Minister has kept it secret. She was the governments Big Oil ringer on the committee so this should come as no surprise.
A key member of the panel that recommended controversial increases to oil and gas royalties in Alberta has distanced herself from its conclusions, calling them "overly aggressive" and "dumb" in some cases.
Judith Dwarkin, chief economist at Ross Smith Energy Group Ltd., a top Calgary-based independent energy research firm, co-wrote a new report that criticizes the panel for lacking the "requisite industry expertise and time" to adequately make certain recommendations, resulting in flawed conclusions.
Ms. Dwarkin, who holds a doctorate in economics and at one time was responsible for evaluating Alberta's oil-and-gas royalty system for the Department of Energy, was seen as the most credible member of her six-person panel because of her extensive experience.
So what could we hear from Farmer Ed when it comes to royalties. Well not 20%, not 10% nope. Wait for it.....
Meanwhile despite all the doom and gloom being raised over the royalty report it has had little real impact on the industry.
Making the rounds in Calgary's financial community yesterday was speculation that the province has arrived at a decision to boost royalties on oilsands projects - but not as much as is currently discounted in stock prices.
The scenario - under which royalties would increase to 5% from 1% before project payout, and to 30% from 25% after investment is recovered, and also involves the scrapping of a proposal for a new super royalty - was seen as positive for Canadian oilsands players, whose stocks rallied as oil was rocketing higher.
Here is the stock chart for the year for one the oilsands giant; Suncor. And despite a blip in September, after the royalty review announcement the shares just keep going up, and up, and up....In fact they are doing better than they were last spring prior to the Royalty Review report.
And as usual it had less to do with royalties than the oil and gas market.
Crude oil fell 0.8 percent to $88.77 a barrel on speculation that U.S. supplies are sufficient to meet demand, after rising above $90 in New York for the first time,
EnCana Corp., the nation's largest natural-gas producer, fell C$2.60, or 4 percent, to C$62.85. Smaller rival Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. retreated C$2.96 to C$74.83. Suncor Energy, the world's second-largest oil-sands miner, dropped C$2.44 from a record to C$100.96.
A measure of energy shares, after gaining 4.1 percent this week before today as oil touched daily records, retreated 2.7 percent today. It helped the S&P/TSX climb 11 percent this year before today. Seven of the benchmark's 10 subgroups fell more than 2 percent today.
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