And when the Oil Rig bosses pay their wage slaves to protest on their behalf against the workers own self interest this is what you get.
Don't Let Big Oil Set Our Royalty Rates make sure Ed hears from you
It is the lowest total this year for conventional energy, a sector in which proposals for higher royalties have provoked considerable anger from industry.
For exploration rights in the oil sands, $15.7-million was collected, which ranks as a median result for the year, ahead of 10 other auctions. With oil prices at a record, the call for higher royalties on that resource has caused less controversy.
In sum, the sale of exploration rights so far this year is down 62 per cent to $1.18-billion from $3.14-billion in the same period a year earlier.
Exploration rights on Crown land in Alberta are posted for sale by the provincial government at the request of individual companies and are awarded in a blind auction where energy firms submit sealed bids. The government take from these auctions can vary dramatically as energy companies spend aggressively when commodity prices are high but pull back quickly when they fall.
A record take of $3.43-billion was reached in 2006, up more than 50 per cent from the previous record of $2.26-billion in 2005. That, in turn, surpassed the long-standing record of $1.15-billion set in 1997, which was reached in part because of the first oil sands boom following the adoption of a generous royalty regime.
This year's decline mirrors collapses recorded in 1981, 1999 and 2002.
That's because such auctions tend to generate less money in Alberta than in other jurisdictions, generally because access to drill for oil and natural gas is seasonal and in the oil sands the raw resource is of lower quality than in major oil fields elsewhere.
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