EnCana saber rattled this past week about reducing investment in Alberta by $1B in 2008 because of the “Our Fair Share” Royalty Review Report. Ironically the management at EnCana was telling a different story at a Peters and Co investor’s conference in Toronto a week earlier. Here is an EnCana quote from Mr. Graham president of EnCana's Foothills division in a September 11, 2007 National Post story:
Now I wonder how EnCana can square that circle of impressive performance in the face of low gas prices and higher operating costs already in place and accounted for in their impressive results with the sudden need to cut $1B from their 2008 capital budget a week later. Can this threat be interpreted in any other way except to say it is posturing and intimidation.
The Editorial Board of the Calgary Herald from a city that is smack dab in the eye of the Alberta economic storm, is the voice or reason and responsibility today too. Slowing down Alberta a bit is a necessity and the marketplace is doing it but that is no reason not to increase the citizens fair share of their resource revenues now too.
Could it be the drilling contractors woes outlined in their recent news release on the “Our Fair Share Royalty Review” are self induced and market driven and not really about possible government policy at all?
For the record it was someone at Peters and Co. who sent an email to their client’s in response to the “Our Fair Share Royalty Review” suggesting Alberta was like Venezuela. A comment that was kindly considered as “over the top.”