Official: Canadian oil frees America from exports of hostile regimes - energy

The Canadian province of Alberta is studying all ways and means to boost Canadian oil exports to the United States, amid plans to increase production by nearly 900,000 barrels per day.

In this context, Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney told a US Senate committee, yesterday, Tuesday, May 17, that Canada can increase the export capabilities of crude oil to America by about one million barrels per day over the next two years, calling for the establishment of a new pipeline through the border.

Kenny’s comments appeared to be inconsistent with those of the Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, who made it clear that the issue of developing a new oil pipeline was only infrequently discussed, both in Ottawa and Washington, and warned that an intense focus on fossil fuel security risked hampering climate goals. According to Reuters.

energy security

Kenny and Wilkinson were in Washington addressing the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the issue of energy security, as countries around the world face rising crude oil prices and supply shortages following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Canadian oil
Syncrude oil sands station in Alberta – Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said: “With the political will of Washington, another major pipeline can be developed that will allow the United States to be free forever from the exports of hostile regimes, especially since Alberta is the largest source of US energy imports.”

Kenney pointed to the Canadian government’s announcement, earlier, to increase oil pipeline exports by 300,000 barrels per day this year.

He explained that another 200,000 barrels of Canadian oil could be shipped by rail, and thanks to technical improvements from carriers, about 400,000 barrels per day of pipeline capacity could be added by next year.

Kenny confirmed that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project owned by the Canadian government could add another 600,000 barrels per day, once completed late next year.

Kenny also urged senators to help protect Canada’s Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, as the US state of Michigan tries to shut it down over fears of oil spills into the Great Lakes region.

Meanwhile, Kenney condemned US President Joe Biden’s decision to revoke the Keystone XL pipeline permit, and urged lawmakers to consider issuing plans for a new Canada-US export pipeline project.

Canada exports

Canada exports about 3.8 million barrels per day of crude oil to the United States, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

Alberta is the largest exporter of oil in America, and exported about 1.4 billion barrels, or about 60% of US imports last year, and 10 times more than Saudi imports.

Until recently, pipeline restrictions impeded the transportation of Canadian oil from Alberta.

The decision to scrap the Cason XL pipeline in early 2021 irked Canada’s energy industry, but with Enbridge’s Line 3 commissioning last year, Canada’s export capacity is in line with production.

Canadian oil
Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson – Image from his official website

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said that the Biden administration did not communicate with Alberta after the crisis of high gasoline prices, the Russian oil embargo and increased demand.

He continued, “We found it strange, after the invasion of Ukraine, that the administration continued with OPEC, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran, while it did not communicate with Alberta.”

He noted that Alberta’s energy producers are now committed to more ambitious environmental and emissions targets, compared to companies in other countries, such as Venezuela.

contradictory statements

Federal Natural Resources Secretary Jonathan Wilkinson said it was the first time he had heard of a potential increase in rail oil capacity or technical improvements.

He believes that any increase in Canadian oil exports to help offset Russian supplies must align with Canada’s climate goals.

As for communication between Canada and America, he made it clear that talks are underway with the Joe Biden administration, and discussions have been held with the US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, several times since the invasion of Ukraine.

“Discussions with the White House have been forward-looking, relating to hydrogen, critical metals and clean technologies,” he said.

He added that Canada increased production by 300,000 barrels per day after the invasion, due to those discussions, as well as meetings with US officials during sessions of the International Energy Agency, earlier this year, in the French capital, Paris.

“I was in the White House last week, and I had similar conversations,” he added.

While energy analyst Rory Johnston commented that Canadian oil production is expected to grow by about 100,000 barrels per day only from now on, he believes that increased export capacity does not necessarily mean more barrels will cross the border.

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