Yedlin: Notley’s high-powered task force an important step in creating a national energy dialogue

Premier Rachel Notley did something on Friday that many in the oilpatch have been talking about doing for the better part of a decade. She announced on she was establishing a task force to kick start a cross-country dialogue about the importance of energy to Canada’s economy – and to push back on the nonsense that has […]

Yedlin: Federal changes to energy regulation add to uncertainty

In one day the Government of Canada drastically reshaped the country’s 60-year-old energy regulatory landscape. Goodbye, National Energy Board. Hello, Canadian Energy Regulator and Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. The federal changes announced Thursday to increase certainty for approvals of energy and other resource-related projects, while far from perfect, do address some issues that have […]

Yedlin: Energy New Ventures competition offers window into future of oilpatch innovation

The annual Energy New Ventures competition effectively deconstructs the myth that innovation isn’t happening in the energy sector. It is. And it’s happening in the startup ecosystem, driven by individuals who might once have worked within the giant corporate energy infrastructure but are now on the outside and seeking to do things better, faster and […]

Yedlin: Celebrated economist offers mostly rosy 2018 forecast, except when it comes to crude

Calgary business leaders had the rare opportunity to hear Mohamed El-Erian, among the world’s leading economists, issue his forecast for 2018 on Thursday night. The Calgary event, hosted by the Chartered Financial Analyst Society in Canada, is annually the organization’s most successful. And this week’s gathering — its 41st — was likely among the best. El-Erian is […]

Yedlin: Reading the economic tea leaves for 2018

One week into 2018 and markets have already been taken by surprise. Whether it’s the limited response to the frigid temperatures that have gripped much of the continent, oil prices breaking US$61 a barrel, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq reaching new highs or Bitcoin trading well below its record price, investors are re-thinking […]

Yedlin: 2018 opens on more optimistic note

When the calendar turned to Jan. 1, 2017, the overriding sentiment surrounding markets and the global economy was uncertainty. Uncertainty over what U.S. President Donald Trump’s agenda would be, the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the likelihood of a tax bill being passed. Similar unpredictability followed Brexit and the consequences of […]

Yedlin: Amid change, GE continues commitment to Calgary innovation centre

Many questions surround the future direction of GE under its new chief executive, John Flannery, including where GE Canada fits into the strategy. Since taking over from Jeff Immelt last August, Flannery, a 30-year veteran of the industrial conglomerate, has announced profound changes at the company, including slashing its dividend, downsizing its power business and […]

Yedlin: A Sigh of Relief – National Energy Board rules in favour of Kinder Morgan

The light turned green for Kinder Morgan and its Trans Mountain expansion project on Thursday, as the National Energy Board ruled in favour of the company, saying it can proceed with the work related to the project immediately. It was welcome news for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who has recently been criss-crossing the country, making […]

Yedlin: On Trans Mountain opposition, Burnaby doesn’t have a case

When TransCanada officially announced it was abandoning the Energy East project, which would have transported 1.1 million barrels of oil per day to the East Coast, a significant amount of discussion took place in the days that followed, suggesting the pipeline quagmire could push the country toward a constitutional crisis. That prediction took one step […]

Yedlin: Cenovus stays local in choosing Pourbaix as new CEO

It’s official. Alex Pourbaix, the former chief operating officer at TransCanada Corp., where he worked for 27 years, has failed at retirement. Pourbaix, who left TransCanada earlier this year, will replace retiring Cenovus chief executive Brian Ferguson, effective next Monday, the company announced. Other names rumoured to be in the running included ARC Financial vice-chairman […]

Yedlin: Alberta can learn from U.K. energy experience

Canada’s oilpatch is not the beacon of co-operation and collaboration it needs to be. That message was delivered to a Calgary audience at a recent forum that included the president of the U.K. Oil and Gas Authority and representatives from Canada’s energy sector. When the U.K. energy sector was on its knees three years ago, […]

Yedlin: Demise of Energy East another gut punch for energy sector

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project were not greatly exaggerated. On Thursday, the Calgary-based company permanently iced the $15.7-billion project that would have been the country’s largest infrastructure investment funded entirely from private capital.  When TransCanada last month asked the National Energy Board for a 30-day suspension […]

Yedlin: Innovation a constant in oilsands production

Public perception of the oilsands over the past decade has been coloured by a negative narrative that ignores the research, development and innovation that has gone into bringing the immense resource into production. The very fact these gooey reserves have been brought to the surface, upgraded and used by industry and consumers across North America […]

Yedlin: Energy East review risks regulator’s reputation

The situation unfolding around TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East pipeline project is the result of a rookie National Energy Board panel gone rogue. It could be said this is what happens when governments try too hard to please a vocal minority. The new three-member Energy East review panel was named in January, after the original appointees […]

Yedlin: Canadian Natural continues to bulk up

When Cenovus Energy acquired the western Canadian assets of ConocoPhillips in March, and then announced it would sell its own assets to pay down debt and de-leverage its balance sheet, oilpatch analysts cited Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. as the most logical buyer of the Pelican Lake properties. On Tuesday, Canadian Natural made it official, forking […]

Yedlin: Energy East review goes too far

The National Energy Board’s announced scope for its review of TransCanada Corp’s Energy East pipeline project is — in a word — madness. The NEB has decided, for the first time in its history, to include a review of upstream greenhouse-gas emissions associated with the project, which would ship 1.1 million barrels of crude a […]

Energy Sector Is Losing a Strong and Principled Advocate

The energy sector is one year away from losing a passionate and articulate advocate. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took the political world by surprise on Thursday, announcing he will be retiring from politics. The reaction from Canada’s energy sector could only be described as one of collective disappointment, though many expressed views that he will […]

Yedlin: Pipeline companies’ results produce little drama

Absent from second-quarter earnings calls for both TransCanada Corp. and Enbridge Inc. this week was the drama of recent years brought on by regulatory and government uncertainty surrounding approvals of major pipeline projects. At Enbridge a year ago, the fate of Northern Gateway was still unknown as the federal cabinet had yet to decide — […]

Yedlin: Canada has lost an oilpatch pioneer and community leader

There’s a big hole in Calgary’s business community today. Rick George, a champion of the energy sector, of the oilsands, and a compassionate and passionate community leader, died far too young Tuesday. George, 67, was synonymous with the oilsands. It was under his leadership that Suncor went public, in 1992, undertook the game-changing Project Millennium […]

Yedlin: It’s all about costs and scale in oilsands

Among the key themes in second-quarter earnings issued Thursday by Suncor and Cenovus was the importance of scale in oilsands operations. Cenovus CEO Brian Ferguson wasted no time raising that issue in a conference call discussing the company’s results. “In a volatile commodity price environment, economies of scale are important and the acquisition has roughly […]

Yedlin: Ottawa is paying attention to Alberta

Justin Trudeau may have forgotten to mention Alberta during his Canada Day speech, but his Liberal government is going in the right direction when it comes to updating the National Energy Board. In May, an expert panel tasked with modernizing the 58-year-old institution tabled a report that contained many controversial recommendations, including relocating the NEB […]

Yedlin: Alberta government can’t count on commodity prices to balance its budget

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci is still insisting the government’s books will be balanced by 2023, even after his latest fiscal update Thursday showed the province ended 2016-17 with a $10.8-billion deficit and $33.3 billion in debt. I’ll have whatever he’s having because his fiscal reality — and that of the government’s — is clearly […]

Yedlin: Cenovus at a crossroads

Cenovus added to its list of uncertainties this week with the surprise resignation of chief executive Brian Ferguson, on Tuesday, and a further downgrade of its debt — to BBB status — on Friday by the rating agency DBRS. None of this is good news for a company that’s been pummeled in the market since its […]

Yedlin: Silence surrounding oilsands report follows familar pattern

There is one thing conspicuously missing from the provincially appointed Oil Sands Advisory Group’s report issued last Friday — positive response from environmental non-governmental groups. The prevailing silence underscores a widely held sentiment within the energy sector:  It doesn’t matter what’s being done to decrease the carbon footprint of the oilpatch. It will never be […]

Yedlin: Energy sector can remain competitive in a post-Paris world

Donald Trump’s move to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord raised questions Friday about what it means for the competitiveness of the oilpatch. With the U.S. no longer committed, carbon pricing in Canada presumably puts trade-exposed industries at a bigger disadvantage to their American counterparts. Not so fast, says Robert Peterson, an […]

Yedlin: Face of Calgary’s economy swiftly evolving

This week is an excellent example of the changes occurring in Calgary’s economic structure, and exactly how fast they’re happening. Monday saw the launch of a program pairing the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and local company Beaver Drilling that aims to tackle challenges facing the energy services sector. The Avatar Program curriculum […]

Yedlin: B.C.’s NDP-Green alliance troubling for Canadian economy, energy projects

So much for those prognostications of a Liberal minority government in British Columbia supported by the Green Party. Monday’s announcement that the Greens will instead support the NDP brings a harsh new reality. And it’s especially surprising given the talk about Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and the NDP’s John Horgan not being the best […]

Yedlin: Supercluster initiative brings opportunity for economic diversification

The Trudeau government’s announced “supercluster” initiative presents tremendous opportunity for Alberta in three important areas — energy, agriculture and health care. The $950-million program will focus on growing innovation and employment in key sectors of the Canadian economy, with bids awarded to as many as five centres across the country. Alberta already has a competitive advantage in energy, agriculture […]

Yedlin: East Coast LNG moving faster than West Coast

For a ray of hope on the liquified natural gas file, it might be best to look east rather than west. Last week, privately held Pieridae Energy Ltd. announced a reverse takeover of Quebec-based energy company Pétrolia Inc., becoming the first publicly traded LNG company in Canada. It’s a move intended to do two things: […]

Yedlin: Future of oilpatch dependent on managing risks through technology

If there’s one constant to the energy sector, it’s that it is anything but. Geopolitics, economics, policy formation, the constant need for capital and the affects of technology all mean it’s forever having to adapt to new rules and conditions. A question posed to five panellists at PwC’s annual Energy Visions event Thursday, is what elements — be […]

Yedlin: Economic future dependent on innovation and collaboration

The energy sector received a welcome measure of reassurance from Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr this week regarding Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Speaking at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business on Thursday, Carr reiterated what’s been said many times following the surprising B.C. election — the project falls under the purview of the federal […]

Yedlin: B.C. election result raises uncertainty for oilpatch investment

The energy sector may have collectively performed its own happy dance last year — in September when Ottawa okayed the Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas project, and again in late November when Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project were approved. Now, all bets are off. Tuesday’s election results in British Columbia, with […]

Yedlin: Liberal government missed great opportunity with infrastructure bank

There is an adage that farming and second marriages — and now, maybe, being an Oilers fan — are the triumph of hope over experience.  To that we can add Calgary’s search for any sort of break from Ottawa. On Monday, the Trudeau government announced the new federal infrastructure bank would be headquartered in Toronto. The Liberals will seed […]

Yedlin: U.S. trade agenda top of mind in Alberta

It’s annual meeting season in Calgary, but the subject that continues to be raised across the city is trade. More specifically, the likelihood of existing pacts, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, being renegotiated or torn up. Two trade-related discussions have been held here within the past week. The Alberta chapter of the Canadian Council of the […]

Yedlin: GMP FirstEnergy merger on track

It’s been almost eight months since Calgary-based investment bank FirstEnergy Capital Corp. announced it was merging with Toronto-based GMP Securities. The deal, which was seen as a takeover of FirstEnergy by GMP, surprised many for reasons that included the fact GMP had effectively gutted its energy practice in Calgary. It is also a publicly traded […]

Yedlin: No cause for Canada to panic over future trade with U.S.

TORONTO – Laura Dawson delivered two important messages to delegates attending the annual investment symposium hosted by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Scotiabank here Wednesday. Only one was positive. Dawson, director of the Canada Institute in Washington, said Canada has no reason to panic about trade issues and how the United States will proceed with […]

Yedlin: Cenovus CEO optimistic about upside of ConocoPhillips’ asset acquisition

TORONTO – If a company’s share price is any reflection of market perception, there’s no mistaking some skepticism surrounds Cenovus after it acquired the majority of ConocoPhillips’ oilsands and natural gas assets in Alberta for $17.7 billion. The stock closed at $14.71 on Tuesday, $1.29 below the pricing of the $3-billion equity issue announced with the deal late last […]

Yedlin: Compensation storm reveals need for Bombardier to abolish dual voting share structure

Governance. Governance. Governance. In the maelstrom surrounding Bombardier, why isn’t anyone talking about governance? More specifically, the company’s voting and non-voting share structure, which puts control of the company in the hands of the Beaudoin and Bombardier families. There are 10 votes attached to each A share held by the families and one vote linked to […]

Yedlin: ARC forum shows future potential of energy sector

It’s a rare conference in the energy space that addresses the perspectives of both the traditional world of oil and gas and the new, including electric vehicles and driverless cars. ARC Energy Research Institute’s inaugural investment forum on Monday succeeded on both fronts, leaving enlightened delegates with much to think about. Encana CEO Doug Suttles highlighted a 33-well pad […]