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Canadian rocky road to recovery

Oil output is still ticking higher, but depressed prices and persistent pipeline problems are weighing on the industry

For an aspiring global energy superpower—in the words of its former prime minister—Canada isn't feeling particularly muscular these days. As 2018 dawns, the country is battling a malaise of spending cuts, flagging investment, lower prices for its heavy crude and nagging delays to key infrastructure projects that will surely preclude any meaningful recovery over the next 12 to 18 months. All leading indicators—from rig counts and drilling levels to stalled pipeline approvals—are pointing to another tough year of austerity and cutbacks as international majors continue to head for the exits, especially in the oil sands. Toss in continuing uncertainty over the fate of the North American Free T

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