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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

As Encana Leaves Alberta, Others Are Moving In!

EnCana, Talisman and Crescent Point Energy Trust have recently announced intentions to move investment out of Alberta because Albertans are being told by an expert panel and the Alberta Auditor General to demand competitive rents for their natural resources.

Others are moving in like Taqa from Abu Dhabi, British companies are scouting around to join the Chinese, Koreans, Norwegians, French and others as investment in Alberta’s energy sector continue to be vibrant and robust.

One EnCana shareholder recently told me he sent a letter to the Board questioning its logic about pulling out of Alberta, because it is the fastest growing, most stable and safest place on the planet to be in the energy business.

I was also pleased to see the recent announcement by Suncor Energy, that they are staying and investing in more cost effective technologies to replace natural gas as a clean heat and electricity source for their operations. Suncor is one of the most progressive and enlightened corporations in Canada, and this technology investment announcement proves it once again.

They have just found "several major investors" who are ponying up $100 million into GreatPoint Energy Inc. which has a technology to gasify coal, petroleum coke and biomass into natural gas. The process produces a pure stream of methane, produced much needed hydrogen and removes or captures mercury, sulphur and CO2 which Suncor intends to use for sequestration purposes. CO2 sequestration is a key initiative towards getting more production efficiency out of old oil wells in addition to reducing GHG emissions.

Oxford Properties are reported in the Globe and Mail today as giving "the green light to the second phase of a 1.2 million square foot office tower" in downtown Calgary with construction to start immediately. The story notes that this announcement brings the total "...amount of office space being constructed in downtown Calgary to around 5.6 million square feet." Toronto has only 3.4 million Square feet of space under construction. Who owns Oxford Properties? The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System...yes sir - an Ontario Pension Fund is bullish on Alberta too.

The industry bullies send out press releases, call people names and buy full page ads as “Open Letters to All Albertans” trying scare us with scenarios of economic doom and gloom and threats to leave Alberta.

There is a funny thing about Canadian values and paid advertising. A public opinion study showed that 80% of Canadians react negatively to such advocacy advertising…we think if they have to use paid advertising, they must have something to hide. Hmmm!