Southern Alberta oil well EDMONTON – Alberta is back in the black in a big way — turbocharged by high-flying oil prices. Finance Minister Jason Nixon says the final number on the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, is a $3.9-billion surplus. It’s the first time in seven years the provincial budget will not sport red ink on the bottom line. It represents a head-spinning turnaround from the $18.2-billion deficit predicted when the budget was introduced during the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2021. Alberta’s bread-and-butter oil and natural gas industries have soared in recent months, as global economies ramped up while pandemic measures receded and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted worldwide energy supply. In fact, the money has gushed in so copiously that Alberta managed to save more even as it spent more. The province spent over $64 billion this year — about $2.5 billion more than originally budgeted due mainly to disaster assistance. Alberta is now almost a quarter into the current 2022-23 budget year, which so far predicts a modest $511-million surplus.