Canada’s challenge is how to make money selling the world’s cheapest oil — but it can be done – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post – December 21, 2015)

CALGARY — Rock bottom oil prices could be the single biggest challenge facing Canada’s economy in 2016.

But Tim Pickering, president and CIO of Auspice Capital Advisors Ltd., a commodities and alternative investment trading firm based in Calgary, said they also provide the space and the incentive to make long-overdue improvements to the Canadian oil crude market — and along with it there is opportunity to make money.

Efforts are already under way to make the two most talked-about improvements — changing the reputation of Canada’s oil, which for years has been disparaged as ‘dirty’ by the U.S. environmental movement, and building new pipelines so Canadian oil barrels can be sold in markets outside the U.S.

Alberta’s tough new climate change policy, which includes a cap on oilsands emissions, has been touted as the ticket to win a reprieve from oilsands and pipeline critics.

Today, with 99 per cent of Canada’s oil exports going to the United States, there is no incentive for the Americans to pay Canada a higher price, said Pickering, a veteran commodities trader and University of Calgary finance grad who started in the business at TD Bank and then Royal Dutch Shell PLC before launching his own trading shop 10 years ago.

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