Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: June 29, 2020

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:

Alberta Energy Minister Calls Norway’s New Oil Tax Cuts “Hypocritical”

In an attempt to provide some relief to its oil and natural gas industry, Norway’s government cut taxes on the industry by 40 percent to help stimulate the sector and attract oil companies to the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Canadian energy officials were caught off-guard by the tax cut, given that Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced this year it was selling its stakes in four Canadian energy companies. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage criticized the move:

“It’s hypocritical to try to drive investments away from a competitor here in Canada… and at the same time aggressively pursue increased production in Norway.”

The action by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which cited emissions concerns as its main reason to divest from Canadian energy companies, conflicts with the goals of the country’s Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Over the next five years, the NPD is looking to expand the country’s oil output by 43 percent to 2.02 million barrels per day—up from a 30-year low of 1.41 million in 2019.

Following Backlash, Tides Canada Rebrands as ‘MakeWay’, Remains Funded By Foreign Organizations

Tides Canada, the group that actively funds environmental advocacy charities across Canada, is distancing itself from its parent organization that helped orchestrate the 2008 Tar Sands Campaign against the Canadian oil industry.

The Vancouver-based non-profit claims that messaging campaigns launched by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in response to the Tar Sands Campaign have conflated the public to associate Tides Canada with the U.S.-based Tides Foundation. Tides Canada CEO Joanna Kerr added clarification to the rebranding effort:

“So critics have cobbled together things that are actually associated with the U.S.-based foundation, and not us. And even some of our friends literally think we are the Canadian affiliate of Tides U.S. Foundation.”

However, the rebranded “MakeWay” and the U.S.-based Tides Foundation remain interconnected. Although MakeWay and Tides Foundation have severed legal and governance ties, MakeWay continues to receive money from the Tides Foundation through donor advised funds.

Canada’s Natural Resource Sector Attracts Talent from Around the World

Canada’s natural resource sector is attracting thousands of newcomers to Canada each year, according to a new analysis by the Canadian Energy Centre. The CEC’s analysis, which used data from Statistics Canada, shows that the number of immigrants employed in the natural resources sector stood at 28,800.

This figure has fluctuated over time. In 2006, immigrants working in the natural resources sector hit an all-time low of 22,000 but rebounded after the 2008 financial crisis. In 2014, that number skyrocketed to an all-time high of 33,600.

The new CEC analysis also shows that working in the natural resources sector provides better pay compared to other goods-producing industries.  Immigrants working in the sector earned an average weekly wage of $2,032, 71 percent more than the average weekly wage for all industries, which stood at $1,186.

The report also includes an industry-by-industry breakdown:

“Between 2006 and 2019, average weekly wages for landed immigrants employed in mining, quarrying and oil and natural gas extraction sector grew from $1,395 to $2,032, an increase of nearly 46 per cent.  This compares to an 18 per cent increase for agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; a 21 per cent increase for utilities; a 22 per cent increase for manufacturing, and a 42 per cent increase for construction. The all-industry average weekly wage increased by 28 per cent in 2019 relative to 2006.”

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and natural gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.

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