POLITICS

Saskatchewan's finance minister says oil price won't force him to change budget

06/04/2012 09:10 EDT | Updated 08/04/2012 05:12 EDT
REGINA - Saskatchewan’s finance minister says the province remains close to budget, even as oil falls away from the price projected in the financial plan back in March.

The rule in Saskatchewan is that for every dollar difference between the budgeted price of oil and the current cost of oil, the province stands to lose or gain $19 million.

For 2012 the province put that price at $100 per barrel, based on the West Texas Intermediate benchmark in oil pricing.

But on Monday in early trading oil was just above $83 per barrel, showing a decline of roughly 18 per cent since May.

The downturn is due to reports showing a decreased demand and suggestions of a global showdown.

However, Finance Minster Ken Krawetz is standing by his budget with no plan for making adjustments.

“I’m thinking this is only one month of twelve” he said Monday.

“When you look at the whole picture, April we were in a better position for oil than our budget and May we’re not”.

The Canadian dollar is also picking up the slack. Budgeted at parity with the American greenback, the loonie has been trading under that expectation.

For every penny difference Krawetz says the budget fluctuates $34 million and right now that’s in Saskatchewan’s favour.

“We’re still very close to budget in fact,” says Krawetz.

He remains confident his budget will take the province to the end of the year just has he and his colleagues projected.

(CJME)