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Jeff Rubin: Oil Sands Are ‘Hemorrhaging Red Ink,’ Doomed to Shutter

Jeff Rubin: Oil Sands Are ‘Hemorrhaging Red Ink,’ Doomed to Shutter

Former CIBC chief economist outlines latest predictions at ‘Carbon Talks.’

Former CIBC world markets economist Jeff Rubin

Former CIBC world markets economist Jeff Rubin at SFU’s ‘Carbon Talks’ panel. On the right is Vancity’s mutual fund manager Dermot Foley. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

The oil sands are downsizing. Alberta’s Big Oil CEOs are talking to environmentalists. And proposed oil pipelines are in serious trouble.

Those were the takeaways from a trio of experts who spoke in Vancouver Wednesday at a “Carbon Talks” event hosted by Simon Fraser University with the David Suzuki Foundation and the Centre for International Governance.

And the reasons for them have a lot less to do with vocal activist opposition or the Trudeau government’s climate commitments than they do with the brute forces of the global marketplace for oil.

It was Jeff Rubin — former CIBC World Markets chief economist and now energy futurist — who declared some of Canada’s largest oil sands operations doomed to be shuttered.

“Hanging over the oil sands industry like the Sword of Damocles,” Rubin said, “is the fact that they are hemorrhaging red ink. At today’s prices, the oil sands are not commercially viable.”

The problem, he said, isn’t that the industry “has been targeted by sanctions or by environmental groups. The problem has been that oil imports in the United States have been halved over the last five years.”

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