Economics & Global Politics

 Where does the money come from; where does it go?

The oil sands have been an economic boon to Alberta, bringing in a couple billion dollars in oil company corporate taxes in a good a year. Bitumen royalty payments by those companies to the province amount to just one percent of gross revenues for years and years while investment costs are being recovered. But beyond taxes and royalties, the amount of capital pouring into the province is staggering — $10 billion a year from investors in consumer states like the United States, China, and Korea, as well as from producers like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Norway, a pattern which must shed light on the future of conventional oil. Currently the United States imports 1.4 million barrels of Canadian oil daily, but market forces that govern that relationship could change with construction of a 525,000 barrel-per-day pipeline through British Columbia leading to the Orient.

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