Alberta’s oil woes: typical downturn or end of an era? – The Globe and Mail

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/albertas-oil-woes-typical-downturn-or-end-of-an-era/article22515309/?click=sf_globe

Alberta’s oil woes: typical downturn or end of an era?

The hits just keep on coming for Alberta. Falling oil prices could now send the province into a recession this year, according to the latest forecast from the Conference Board of Canada. Despite the protestations of Premier Jim Prentice, other similar predictions are sure to follow given the spate of bad news for Alberta that includes layoffs, spending cutbacks and an emerging government budget deficit. What’s less clear is the potential severity of a pending recession. Alberta has weathered cyclical oil busts before, but the current downturn might just be something different.

As alarmed as Albertans are about oil prices, few want to even consider the possibility that the current price decline may be less of a temporary blip and more like a canary in the coal mine.

Burdened with one of the highest cost structures anywhere in the…

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