CALGARY, Alberta Feb 26 The Canadian province
of Alberta, the largest source of U.S. oil imports, said on
Wednesday it ran an unexpected C$1.2 billion ($1.1 billion)
operating surplus over the first three quarters of the current
fiscal year because of higher energy and investment revenue.
Doug Horner, the province's finance minister, said
government revenue over the period was C$30.8 billion, ($27.7
billion), which was C$2.7 billion higher than forecast, while
expenses totaled C$29.6 billion.
"The third-quarter operating results are back in the black,"
Horner said on a conference call. "We've ended the quarter with
an operational surplus and I'm expecting we will have a C$1.4
billion surplus by the end of the year."
A weakening Canadian dollar and higher energy prices have
helped boost Alberta's revenue from oil and natural gas
production. Benchmark crude prices averaged $99.17 per barrel
over the first three-quarters of the fiscal year, 6.7 percent
more than the province's budget forecast.
The province, which separates its operating budget from its
capital spending budget, borrowed C$2.7 billion over the
nine-month period to fund capital projects.
Horner will present the government's budget for the
2014/2015 fiscal year on March 6.