Statistics Canada this week reported that energy exports reached $12.0 billion in August, more than recouping all their losses during the pandemic. Exports topped their March 2019 high of $11.4 billion and are closing in fast on their all-time peak of $12.8 billion set in 2014.
The increase was driven by sharply higher exports of both crude oil and natural gas. Despite all the hype surrounding electricity exports, they earn less in a month than oil and gas generate every day.
The surge of energy exports is a dramatic reversal of fortune from their low of $3.0 billion a month during the depths of the pandemic, when oil prices briefly went negative for technical reasons related to a lack of storage capacity (negative prices imply that sellers paid buyers to physically take possession of their oil).
Opponents of Canada’s oil industry gleefully leapt on this one-day anomaly of negative oil prices to chortle that the industry had no future. Their pronouncements at the time make for interesting reading today.
For the rest of this column: https://financialpost.com/opinion/philip-cross-if-oil-and-gas-are-dead-why-are-exports-booming