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Collateral gain

The market's gaze may be on tight oil's reaction to the Opec deal. But the agreement buoys Canadian suppliers too

Ten years ago, oil prices were on a tear towards $100 a barrel and Saudi Arabia's then oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, joked that Canada - producer of the world's highest-cost barrels in the oil sands - should join Opec. The insinuation was that Alberta's oil patch, which like that in Opec countries also dominates its local economy, was thriving only thanks to the price stability offered by the group. Canada politely ignored the invitation, not least for ideological reasons. Now, though, Opec has done Alberta and its oil sands another favour. The group's cuts, alongside those it cajoled out of several non-Opec members, offers a lifeline to the oil sands, which have been battered by last year's

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