FORT McMURRAY, AB – Teck Resources Ltd have pulled their application to the Canadian government for a massive $20 billion oil sands mine in northern Alberta after a shocking study by the company revealed that there is an external market for oil that determines its price.
“We weren’t aware until now that we wouldn’t be the ones who determine the price of the oil we’d be extracting,” Teck CEO Don Lindsay said in a letter to the government explaining why they’ve withdrawn their application. “This whole time we assumed we’d be able to sell the oil at US$95 a barrel, because that’s what we would need to sell it for in order to make a profit.”
“Turns out that’s not how capitalism works. It would’ve been nice if someone had told us about this ‘price’ thing beforehand, we could’ve saved a billion dollars in start-up costs.”
The epiphany that fossil fuels sell for market prices that are determined by factors outside of the control of individual corporations has sent shock-waves through the industry, which is only now realizing that a large number of existing and proposed extraction projects won’t be profitable given current and projected prices.
While some resource companies like Teck are throwing in the towel, others are confident that as long as they refuse to acknowledge the concept of oil prices, they won’t be affected by them, a strategy that has proved incredibly successful for them in the past when it comes to ignoring things like global warming and the earthquake risk of fracking.
The Alberta government is unwavering in its support for the industry during this difficult time. “It is unacceptable for a company like Teck to have to go through so many regulatory hoops only to have the rug pulled out from under them with this utterly unpredictable revelation that oil prices have been stagnant for the last five years,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a tweet about Teck’s decision.
“The Alberta government vows to spend millions of taxpayer dollars getting to the bottom of how Justin Trudeau and/or foreign ecoterrorists have conspired to keep the fact that oil has a price from the oil industry for so long.”
While the fossil fuel sector has been rocked by this pricing news, proponents of the $40 billion LNG project in northern B.C. (which includes the controversial $6 billion Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline) remain confident that unlike oil prices, LNG prices will magically shoot up to the levels needed to make that project profitable as long as their hearts remain true.