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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery edged down seven cents to $37.26 on the New York Merc, while Brent for November lost 22 cents to $39.61 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $8.46 to WTI, up from a discount of $8.66. Natural gas for October added four cents to $2.31. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 70.50.
Oil prices wobbled on a bearish new monthly report from OPEC, which is now predicting a global oil demand drop of 9.46 million barrels a day in 2020, worse than the 9.06 million barrels a day that it was forecasting last month. It cited the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated curtailments on travel and economic activity. This also means that the rebound in demand will be slower than previously hoped. OPEC now expects consumption in 2021 to rise by just 6.62 million barrels a day, down from its previous forecast of 6.99 million.
Here in Canada, oil sands giant Imperial Oil Ltd. (IMO) lost 28 cents to $19.00 on 3.11 million shares. It has fallen from $21.60 since announcing on Sept. 2 that it would have to suspend production from its Kearl oil sands project, which contributes around 40 per cent of its total output, as a result of a spill along the western leg of the Polaris diluent pipeline. (Diluent is necessary for mixing with the sticky oil sands bitumen to facilitate transportation.) Neither Imperial nor the operator of Polaris, Inter Pipeline, has been able to estimate when the pipeline and therefore Kearl will be back in service. Today, however, BNN reported that Inter Pipeline has filed an application with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to install a temporary pipeline bypass along Polaris. The AER typically takes about three days to review this sort of application.
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