Slump trims forecasts for Canadian oil sands

Expectations are falling for bitumen production from the Canadian oil sands as the international price of crude oil languishes around $40/bbl, far below levels required by new investments in production and upgrading.While once-stratospheric operating costs have fallen in the major oil-sands producing regions of Alberta, their slide hasn’t matched that of oil prices, which peaked last July above $140/bbl. Click here to enlarge imageCompanies have delayed, suspended, or canceled dozens of upgrading and extraction projects (see table). Many of them have announced layoffs. Investment expectations are plunging.With layoff announcements frequent, the unemployment rate in Alberta is incre...

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