“I believe there will be a disappearance of the publicly traded companies, once the SEC comes out with its rulings,” he said in a conference call yesterday. “I believe Big Oil is going to want to go in and buy these companies.”
He said companies with existing oil sands operations are certain to be snapped up, even though their market values have grown as the price of crude has soared and interest in the sector has intensified. “The wealth of the oil companies have also grown by leaps and bounds,” Mr. Coxe noted.
There are a couple of different strands of this story which merit attention.
First, if there is a sudden move toward such wide-scale foreign ownership in a lucrative and now domestically-owned industry, will that be reason enough for the Liberals to start taking seriously the review process under the Investment Canada Act? And if not (which seems most likely), can the NDP duly highlight that lack of response?
Second, it's no great secret that the U.S.' large oil producers have just received massive payoffs through the new American energy bill - which could be all the more significant if it position the U.S. companies better as compared to Canadian ones, leading to a faster takeover. If that happens, should Canada be looking to file trade complaints? And if none of the current trade agreements seem to cover the issue, should we be looking to change that?
So far, we have only questions rather than answers. But stay tuned.