Oil and gas investors are avoiding Alberta, all because of government policies

Kenneth P. Green and Ashley Stedman: The province continues to languish near the bottom of investment attractiveness

With continued obstruction of pipeline construction and regulatory uncertainty, investors see a gloomy outlook for Canada’s oil and gas industry compared to some U.S states. The province also continues to languish near the bottom of Canadian jurisdictions in investment attractiveness in the oil and gas sector.

This was reflected in this year’s iteration of the Fraser Institute’s Global PetroleumSurvey, released last week, which tracks the perceptions of investors eyeing jurisdictions worldwide. The survey spotlights policies that govern the oil and gas industry (royalties and taxes, duplicative regulations, etc.) and make a jurisdiction attractive or unattractive to investment.

While Canada’s overall score in the survey improved slightly this year, investors remain cautious. Canada’s investment climate remains far behind 2014 levels when the province ranked 14th out of 156 jurisdictions. In 2016, Canada fell to 43rd of 96 jurisdictions and this year moved up to 33rd of 97 jurisdictions. Despite Canada’s slight rise, the province remains Canada’s second-least-attractive jurisdiction to invest in. Tellingly, more than 50 per cent of respondents in 2017 see fiscal terms and taxation as deterrents to investing in Canada.

Not only is Canada performing poorly within Canada’s borders, Canada’s rank is also well behind international competitors such as Texas (the most attractive jurisdiction in the world based on policies), Oklahoma (the second most attractive) and North Dakota (the third). In fact, this year, six of the world’s top 10 jurisdictions are in the United States, compared to only two Canadian jurisdictions (Newfoundland and Saskatchewan).

full story at http://business.financialpost.com/opinion/oil-and-gas-investors-are-avoiding-alberta-all-because-of-government-policies

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