Discounted bitumen prices hitting Alberta's coffers

Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:02pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta Nov 28 (Reuters) - Alberta's government said on Wednesday it still expects a wider deficit than it had initially budgeted for as prices for the crude wrung from the western Canadian province's vast oil sands sells at a deep discount to U.S. benchmark oil.

In a second-quarter budget update, Alberta said it expects its 2012-2013 deficit will be between C$2.3 billion and C$3 billion ($2.3 billion and $3 billion) with revenues for the first six months tracking C$1.4 billion below expectations.

It originally planned for a deficit of C$886 million, but realized by the end of the first quarter that the likely shortfall was widening.