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Industry expects busier 2022 as policy-makers sharpen focus on ‘net-zero’ plans. The last two years have taken energy markets on a wild ride, with oil prices crashing through the basement at the outset of the pandemic and climbing to more than $85 US a barrel last fall. Alberta drillers and service companies have been talking about the risk of labour shortages, not layoffs. More activity is expected in Canada’s oilpatch in the year ahead. But talk of energy these days is rooted in two worlds — the demands of today and the transition ahead — as decarbonization efforts come into even sharper focus with climate change. These are some of the stories to watch in energy in the coming months. Motorists saw pump prices soar last year. Statistics Canada’s most recent inflation report found that gasoline prices rose by 43 per cent in the year up to November. Fuel prices surged as demand and economic activity began returning from the pandemic lows that had spurred oil production cuts around the globe. The North American benchmark price for oil climbed well above $75 US per barrel last week. The average retail gasoline price in Canada climbed to over $1.48 a litre, according to Natural Resources Canada. Motorists may not get much reprieve for several months.

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