Canadian activity levels out amid growing uncertainty ///

As unsettled and uncertain as things were for Canadian producers in 2011, the last 12 months have done little to provide any of the stability that the industry craves. Oil prices have weakened; gas prices remain flat; oil sands, hydraulic fracturing and pipelines have become political issues across North America; the Canadian dollar is virtually at par with the greenback (reducing export revenues); and drilling activity is down.Perhaps the most influential of these factors in 2012 is the political uncertainty. Calls continue from across Canada for some sort of energy strategy, albeit without any clear idea of what such a strategy would attempt to achieve. Despite encouragement from Canada’s appointed Senate—which recently issued a report stating that the provinces should work together, ensure other parties are at the table, and that the federal government should act as a catalyst for consensus—regional interests continue to outweigh national considerations.

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