Cheap Oil and Political Risk: Canada

January 28, 2015

Benjamin Syme Van Ameringen

Alberta Oil, CC Bartlettbee Flickr, modified,


Stagnant economic growth, flagging demand for crude oil, and an increase in alternative supply sources such as US shale gas have led to a growing mismatch between supply and demand in global energy markets. These factors have been accentuated by both geopolitical instability and OPEC’s decision not to cut output, resulting in a free-fall in the price of oil. Prices this week hit a 6-year low and WTI crude closed at USD 44.39 at time of writing (January 28, 2015). Though cheap oil has the potential to fuel greater economic growth in some corners of the world, it could have profoundly destabilizing effects in others. In this five part series, examines how cheap oil is a threat to certain regimes and economies, even the global order itself. Part two focuses on Canada.


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  • Teddy Minor

    Canada’s Harper-led federal government has put too much economic focus on oil and now we are dependent on a falling commodity. Canada has other renewable sources of energy and other sectors of the economy to focus on. I only hope that falling oil prices do not increase the demand for oil, as we have seen a great surge of new energy in the past 5 years plus. We need to use this time get off our dependence on oil, in Canada and around the world.


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