Central Alberta Drilling Rig EDMONTON – Alberta Finance Minister Jason Nixon is to deliver today the final numbers on the 2021-22 budget amid higher than expected oil prices. The budget, which ended on March 31, was last forecast to come in at a $3.2 billion deficit. However, Alberta benefited from surging oil prices throughout the earlier part of the year and predicts a $511-million surplus for the current 2022-23 fiscal year. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark price for North American oil, has softened of late but sits above US$100 a barrel. It’s been seven years since the province’s last balanced budget and Alberta is recovering from years of multibillion-dollar deficits. How the budget bounty is spent will be up to a new leader, as the United Conservative Party is set to pick a replacement for Premier Jason Kenney in October.