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Canadian oil & gas spending down 62% since 2014 record high

WATCH ABOVE: With just days until the Notley government unveils its budget, the oil and gas industry is closely watching for what the NDP plans to do. As Tom Vernon reports, Alberta’s energy sector is feeling the brunt of the economic downturn and is looking for signs that help is on the way.

CALGARY – Canada’s oil and gas sector is on track to have the biggest two-year decline in capital spending in its history.

The industry’s main association says spending on major projects is forecast to drop to $31 billion in 2016. That’s down $50 billion or 62 per cent since 2014, when the industry set a record of $81 billion.

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The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says that’s the biggest drop in records going back to 1947.

CAPP’s members produce about 90 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil. Prices for crude have plunged worldwide since late 2014 due to a prolonged oversupply amid soft economic growth and a political push to use less fossil fuels.

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The association’s president is calling for Canada, as a country, to take action so the industry can compete globally.

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“Times are tough today in Canada’s oil and natural gas sector, but the world will require responsibly produced energy for a long time to come,” said Tim McMillan, CAPP president and chief executive officer.

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