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Crude oil plunge named the Canadian Press' business story of the year

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The biggest business story of the year is the falling price of oil, according to a Canadian Press survey.

Business editors, including News1130’s Richard Dettman, chose the rapid drop in oil to its lowest price in more than five years because of its broad impact.

It’s hard to overstate the impact of oil prices, from your daily commute to finance ministers frantically recalculating their revenue forecasts, to all Canadians having to deal with or benefit from a lower loonie.

The energy patch is already curtailing its exploration spending, but analyst Lanny Pendill at Edward Jones says the industry has seen worse. “What they’re failing to remember is we went through a much tougher test back in ’08 – ’09.”

The drop has made economists temper their forecasts because oil is Canada’s biggest export. And because of that, it has contributed to a slide in the dollar.

Crude has put another obstacle in the path of BC’s liquefied natural gas projects because such contracts can be tied to oil prices. It has also given consumers a much-needed reduction in gasoline prices and, in some cases, fuel surtaxes.

The US benchmark price for crude remains at its lowest in more than five years, below $54 US per barrel.