Cenovus CEO: pipeline squeeze means Canadians 'subsidize' U.S. energy consumers

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CALGARY - The CEO of oilsands company Cenovus says each Canadian is subsidizing U.S. energy consumers to the tune of $1,200 annually through cheap Alberta crude.

Brian Ferguson told a CIBC investor conference says a lack of pipeline capacity is a major issue not just for the industry, but for Canadians.

A report by CIBC last year said Canada's oil industry was missing out on $18 billion a year because of the steep double discount its crude it gets in relation to both U.S. and global benchmarks.

Ferguson figures the price gap, or differential, has since widened to be about double that to $36 billion.

He says he supports — quote — "all pipelines going everywhere" so that there are multiple market options for Canadian crude.

The differentials have had a big impact on Alberta's all-important oil revenues, with Finance Minister Doug Horner warning earlier this week that his March 7 budget will not be a "fun" one.

Organizations: CIBC

Geographic location: U.S., Alberta, CALGARY Canada

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