Take Stock – October 16

The Energy Resources Conservation Board has ordered that almost 160 natural gas wells in northern Alberta must be shut down at least temporarily.

Almost 160 natural gas wells ordered shut in

The Energy Resources Conservation Board has ordered that almost 160 natural gas wells in northern Alberta must be shut down at least temporarily. The board says continued production from the wells, about 100 kilometres northwest of Fort McMurray, could put future recovery of bitumen at risk. The wells are to remain shut in until a public hearing expected to be held early next year.

The order affects daily production amounting to about 940 thousand cubic metres of natural gas.

The wells affected are licensed to Canadian Natural Resources Limited (TSX:CNQ), Paramount Energy Operating Corp. and EnCana Corp. (TSX:ECA). The order is effective Oct. 31.

Resale of homes up 18 per cent

The Canadian Real Estate Association says sales of existing homes during the third quarter were among the strongest on record.

National home resales through the Multiple Listing Service owned by Canada’s realtors totalled 135,182 in the third quarter of 2009, up 18 per cent from a year earlier and the most of any third quarter on record. It was also the biggest year-over-year gain since early 2002 — another sign that the Canadian housing market is quickly returning to health. The seasonally adjusted number was 127,941 homes resold, up 12 per cent from the second quarter and 48 per cent higher than the fourth quarter of 2008.

Sales drop in August

Manufacturing sales dropped 2.1 per cent to $40.9 billion in August after a 5.2 per cent gain in July. Statistics Canada reports the aerospace product and parts and motor vehicle industries were the major contributors to the decline in sales. Sales have been relatively level since February, after plummeting 20.4 per cent between last October and January. Alberta manufacturing sales were up 4.9 per cent.

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