Hey there, Foolish energy market observers. In case you missed Thursday's episode of this turbulent soap opera we call the oil patch, two leading Canadian producers outlined their capital programs for 2009. While nothing revealed in these announcements was as shocking as evil Dr. Carmichael's plan to kidnap his amnesic half-sister (or is she his daughter!?), the budget updates still help us Fools to follow the plot of this ever-twisting tale.
We'll begin with Albertan heartthrob EnCana
Just as lust and betrayal are recurring themes of the daytime TV soaps, so are prudence, conservatism, and flexibility when it comes to these oil-and-gas company press releases. EnCana used all three words in its announcement, as did cross-town Calgary competitor Petro-Canada
Petro-Canada's capital program impresses for its bold commitment of $2.1 billion -- just over half the entire budget -- to "growth projects, exploration and new venture developments." This certainly doesn't appear to be a firm that's struggling to keep its head above water. Also eye-catching is the firm's decision to execute a bunch of turnarounds during the early part of the year. This capitalizes on the commodity slump, and sets the firm up for an output boost when prices are back on track.
It just wouldn't be a classic episode without a guest appearance by ExxonMobil
Well, that's it for this recap of As the Drillbit Turns. Be sure to tune in next time. There are many more twists and turns in store.
Fool contributor Toby Shute is occasionally captivated by the occasional muted soap while at the gym, but he doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy keeps apprised of all the latest happenings in Oakdale.