1/ Netflix's business used to be shipping DVDs and return envelopes out to people. Before the Net was ubiquitous, it was a good way to watch a movie without going to a theater. This makes me think of Alberta and the oil business.
2/ 10 or 15 years ago I found myself talking to a really senior Netflix person and they said “Yeah, the DVD thing has decent cash flow and we’re putting some work into cost reduction. But it’s the past not the future…
3/ … our future bet is online video and every penny of cash we can scrape together is going into that.” It worked. I’m thinking Alberta’s oil-sands business is like DVDs. It already exists, it brings in some cash, but it’s not the future.
4/ The private sector is generally cool on petroleum investments and especially high-carbon-load ones. Nothing the Alberta Conservatives can do, no matter how much they yell at Ottawa, is really gonna change that.
5/ Traditional oil&gas is not investable. Period. So I think we need to squeeze every possible penny out of the existing debugged & depreciated extract-and-pump infrastructure and route it to Plan B.
6/ I wouldn’t presume to say what Plan B should be, but I have had a couple of Albertans tell me how great a place it is for renewables, wind & sun. At least some traditional oil/gas development/operational skills might transfer?
7/7 Whenever I see Jason Kenney pop up on my screen, I think “He’s trying to protect the DVD-shipping business.” I wonder if, in his heart, he knows this?