Why Alberta oil prices are so low, and what could happen if they stay that way

EDMONTON — With Alberta’s main oil export selling at record lows, some producers are facing a full-blown crisis, while politicians are weighing responses to what Premier Rachel Notley has called a “real and present danger to the Canadian economy.”

Last Thursday, Western Canadian Select (WCS) — the main blend sold by Alberta’s oilsands — closed at less than US$14 per barrel, the lowest in a decade. While the price has recovered somewhat, closing at US$17.43 per barrel on

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