Simulation models that include royalty and tax provisions are used to examine the distribution between developers and governments of net returns from the development of Alberta's oil sands deposits. A specific focus is to assess the effects on the level and distribution of net revenues associated with a number of changes in assumed revenue and expenditure conditions. Developers typically bear a greater share of the consequences of variations in capital expenditures than they do of changes in operating expenditures, prices, and exchange rates. A comparison across royalty and tax regimes suggest that there is a positive relationship between the level of net revenues estimated to accrue to either developers or governments and the share of the consequences of changes in conditions borne by that party. Some differences across production technologies are noted. The role of the federal government as a fiscal player in oil sands development has shrunk over time. In contrast, under the current regime, the Government of Alberta captures a higher share of net returns and typically bears a greater proportion of the consequences of changes in conditions than at any time since the introduction of an explicit royalty and tax regime in 1997.

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Energy Policy

Plourde, A. (2010). On properties of royalty and tax regimes in Alberta's oil sands. Energy Policy, 38(8), 4652–4662. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.04.025