Canada to increase oil, gas exports amid push to displace Russia | Oil and Gas News

Canada said the move came after European allies said they “need help” with reducing dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Canada plans to increase oil and gas exports this year by up to 300,000 barrels a day, the country’s natural resources minister said, as nations seek to find ways to weaning Russian energy supplies in the context of the war in Ukraine.

Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a declare on Thursday that the move – which will increase by about 5% – is aimed at helping Canada’s allies respond to the “energy security crisis” caused by Russia’s ongoing invasion.

“Our European allies and friends need Canada and others to step up,” said Wilkinson, who was in Paris for a meeting at the International Energy Agency (IEA) headquarters.

“They told us that they needed our help in extracting Russian oil and gas in the short term and accelerating the energy transition across the continent. Canada is uniquely positioned to help both. ”

Russia provides a big part Europe’s energy supplies, but since the country launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine late last month, European leaders have said they plan to reduce their dependence on oil and natural gas from Moscow.

The war also sent fuel prices soaring, after several countries, including the United States and Canada, Prohibited import Russian energy to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the attack.

Canada, home to the tar sands of northern Alberta, is the fourth-largest oil producer in the world after Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, and for weeks, Canada’s pro-oil politicians has called for an expansion of fossil fuel projects in response to the Ukraine crisis.

But that push has been dismissed by environmentalists, who say filling the void caused by Russia will exacerbate the climate crisis, just as other experts have pointed out that Canada does not have the infrastructure needed to rapidly increase exports.

“We know that fossil fuels are destroying climate stability, and we know that our reliance on foreign oil sources leaves us vulnerable to political, economic and military blackmail.” Peter Gleick, a senior fellow at the Pacific Institute in California, told Al Jazeera in early March.

“So if anything,” Gleick added, “[the Ukraine crisis is] a much better opportunity to promote non-fossil fuels in general, rather than trying to increase our reliance on only other people’s fossil fuels. “

That was echoed by Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, who told Canada’s National Observer online this month that “the solution to global energy problems is not to increase their dependence on them. reliance on fossil fuels” – but rather to reduce our dependence on oil and gas “regardless of where it comes from”.

Thursday’s announcement also comes less than a week before Ottawa unveils its blueprint for how to cut carbon emissions. Environmental activists called on the government to focus on replacing Russia’s energy with cleaner sources.

Greenpeace Canada senior energy strategist, Keith Stewart, said: “The only real solution to fuel oil aggression on people and the climate is to accelerate the transition away from fuels. fossil fuels by investing in renewable energy and efficiency”.

Energy Secretary Wilkinson said on Thursday that the Canadian government is also looking at how it could replace Russian gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada after European countries requested it.

Wilkinson said Canada is in discussions with European countries about whether it can build more LNG projects. Currently, Canada does not export any LNG, but the SHEL.L consortium led by Shell, an oil and gas company, is building a large facility on the West Coast.

Any LNG project would need to be extremely low-emissions and be able to transport hydrogen in the future as Europe phased out its own fossil fuels, Wilkinson said.

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