UPDATE 1-Canada PM: resilient oil industry will survive low prices shock

Thu Jan 8, 2015 3:08pm EST
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By Julie Gordon

DELTA, British Columbia Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday said the country's energy industry was resilient and would survive the stresses caused by plunging crude oil prices.

Harper also told reporters that while lower prices would have a significant impact on oil-producing provinces, consumers would enjoy the benefit.

Benchmark prices for crude have halved over the past six months, posing a particular challenge for oil producers.

"As rapid a negative a change that this is for the industry, the industry, even in my lifetime, has lived through changes this extreme and more on many occasions," Harper told reporters during an event in British Columbia.

"This not without precedent. It's a resilient industry and it will see its way clear to a prosperous future," he said.

ARC Resources Ltd on Wednesday became the latest in a string of Canadian producers to cut their budgets in reaction to the drop in prices. (Writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chris Reese and Meredith Mazzilli)