Thursday, October 25, 2007

The virus spreads 

When Chavez was pushing foriegn oil companies to pay higher royalties and taxes he was of course attacked by the usual suspects for detering investment and driving out the oil companies.

Those same people held up Canada and their supposedly very liberal attitude towards oil companies in the oil sands area of Alberta as the counter point to Chavez.

Well, it looks like they might not be able to do that much longer:

Governments Demand a Bigger Share of Oil

TORONTO (AP) — The oil industry is under assault globally by nations and even provinces who want companies like Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Suncor to cough up more royalties they can use to address issues like poverty and education.

Sorry but I have to interrupt here. Don't you just love the tone of this - "well if they were going to spend the additional royalties on something meaningful maybe we could understand but given they are just going to waste it on education and fucking poor people..."

Ok, back to the article:

First it was Venezuela.

Sorry, can't let this go either. Yep, Venezuela was first - read, that commie motherfucker Chavez started all this.

Now, Nigeria is reviewing its relationships with international oil companies and the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta is set to announce a decision Thursday on increasing royalties from the energy industry. It's a move the industry warns could devastate Alberta's oil patch.

Well, what can you expect from Nigerians - they are just a bunch of third world losers who would do stupid things like tax oil companies. But Canadians?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Has Chavez even been to Canada? Has anyone in Venezuela ever even heard of Canada? Most Americans haven't.

At least once analyst compared Alberta to Venezuela last month after a government-appointed panel called for the province to boost its total take from the energy industry by 20 percent a year, or roughly $2 billion.

Under President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela raised royalty and tax rates on foreign oil companies, then later took majority control of all oil projects as part of a larger nationalization drive of "strategic" economic sectors. Chavez says those policies are ensuring that oil benefits Venezuelans instead of foreign corporations and governments.

Russia and Bolivia have also asserted greater state control over their oil or natural gas assets in recent years.

A report by Alberta's provincial panel says royalties have not kept pace with world energy markets — a barrel of crude oil has reached record levels of more than $90 recently. It says all projects in the booming oil region should pay more because "Albertans do not receive their fair share from energy development."

"There's definitely been a trend over the last year or two, a lot of countries looking to nationalize oil reserves," said Kyle Preston, an oil and gas analyst with Salman Partners. "It's a function of higher commodities prices. Oil companies are making more money and governments want a bigger share."

Alberta is home to vast reserves of oil sands, a tar-like bitumen that is extracted using mining techniques. Industry officials estimate the region will yield as much as 175 billion barrels of oil, making Canada second only to Saudi Arabia in crude oil reserves.

"Chavez is not the kinda guy you want to be compared to. But yes, I could see that comparison since Chavez has increased royalties in his country," Preston said.

Greg Stringham, vice president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, called increased revenue sharing the biggest economic decision in Canada this year.

"The energy industry has been a phenomenal driver," Stringham said. "It not only affects Alberta ... It's going to set the direction for where this industry goes and where Alberta goes the next five to 10 years."

Stringham said there's more room for sharing revenues but says it costs $55-60 a barrel to develop the oil sands because of rising costs in steel and labor.

Many companies have said they'll shut down future projects and invest elsewhere if Alberta adopts the recommendations in full. EnCana Corp. has said it will cut its capital investment in Alberta by a $1 billion next year if the province raises royalties as much as proposed.

Oh, yeah, "they'll go elsewhere". That is a real threat. Where the fuck are they gonna go, Venezuela?

Alberta's Conservative government repeatedly rejected advice in the past to raise royalties but the province has a new premier who is expected to face an election soon.

Canada's constitution grants the provinces control over their natural resources and gives them the right to levy direct taxes on them.

"Canada has been a politically safe region and that has somewhat changed now," said Philip Skolnick, an oil analyst with Genuity Capital Markets. "Yes, oil prices have come up significantly but so has the cost to develop them."

"Our first reaction to the Alberta government's recent royalty review panel report was that it was authored by a visiting delegation of Venezuelans," Deutsche Bank North America analyst Paul Sankey wrote in a note to investors.

Fuck, it is bad enough the Bolivians have turned their country over to the Venezuelans but now Alberta?

Hey, remember all those PDVSA workers who were fired and supposedly went to work in the Alberta oil fields? Do you think the whole thing could have been a set up and they are really a bunch of quasi communist infiltraters intent on spreading noxious ideas like taxing oil companies?

If the Canucks were smart they'd immediately deport them all.

Last year, Alberta collected $10 billion in energy royalties, which have not been updated since the mid-1990s. The province is debt-free but has struggled to build infrastructure needed for the booming industry.

Building infrastructure? They probably got that idea from Chavez too. If they build a subway in Edmonton you know who to blame.

This contagion of populist/socialist/Bolivarian/Commie ideas is spreading rapidly.

Bush needs to quit salivating over the prospect of bombing Iran and pay attention to what is going on in our own backyard (or at least to what is going on in our attic). Personally, I think if any U.S. companies are effected then military action against Canada is justified.

Fortunately, it won't distract from the upcoming show in Iran. As John Candy knew, the U.S. wouldn't need to send in troops - the Niagra Falls New York police department is sufficient to kick Canada's ass. Hopefully they are on their way to Toronto to put an end to this farce right now.

UPDATE I understand the Niagra Falls police department is in fact on the way to Toronto and probably would have already captured it already but they got stuck in traffic on the QEW. Figures.


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