Foreign oil producers aren’t alone in beating a retreat from Canada’s energy sector. In an interview on BNN, Sprott Asset Management Portfolio Manager Eric Nuttall, who manages the $146.3 million Sprott Energy Fund, said the energy investment landscape in the United States is much more attractive due to fewer regulatory headaches.
“We’ve taken our capital out of Canada, largely,” he said. “There’s such profound sentiment headwinds as a result of both provincial and federal government [measures.] Whether its carbon taxes, royalty regime changes and pipeline takeaway issues: we don’t get that in the U.S., we get the same commodity exposure, with equally good fundamentals without all that noise.”
Nuttall said his fund is currently about 85 per cent weighted to the United States, the largest exposure in its 14-year history.
“I just got sick of having to come on shows and talk about bloody pipeline takeaway capacity,” he said. “A company drills a great well, well great, are you going to have a pipeline [to] put the volume of oil or gas through? It was utter stupidity for us to not be able to build a pipeline after 12 years or 10 years of review, where in the U.S, in Texas, it takes you six to nine months to get a permit and get shovels in the ground.”
Nuttall said multiple levels of government need to take decisive action, lest the issue becomes more severe.
“We as a nation have to fix this, it’s a large part of our overall economy, and capital is fleeing: my capital has been fleeing,” he said. “When you look at the majors selling out oil sands, Petronas not going ahead with LNG projects, these should all be like shocking warning signals to our federal and provincial governments, and yet there just seems to be a total apathy.”
“It’s beyond my imagination why it’s not becoming more of a national priority.”