Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson stated in a statement on Thursday that Canada has the capacity to expand oil and gas exports by up to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2022 to assist strengthen global energy security.
Following requests from European countries, Canada is also looking into options to replace Russian gas with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada, according to the minister.
Wilkinson was in Paris for a conference at the headquarters of the International Energy Agency (IEA), where the US and its allies discussed strategies to assist calm volatile oil markets.
Canada, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer, is eager to contribute to long-term energy security as countries that formerly relied on Russian oil and gas seek alternatives in the face of Russian sanctions.
In response to calls from allies to alleviate supply shortfalls, Wilkinson said Canada might raise oil exports by up to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) and natural gas exports by up to 100,000 boepd this year.
“Canada and others must step up for our European friends and allies,” Wilkinson said. “They’re asking for our assistance in weaning themselves off Russian oil and gas in the short term while also speeding up the energy transition throughout the continent.”
Canada now exports about 4 million barrels per day of oil to the United States, with just a small percentage of that being re-exported.
Canada is set to present a detailed strategy on how it will reduce carbon emissions in less than a week. Environmentalists asked the administration to focus on phasing out Russian energy in favor of cleaner alternatives.
“Investing in renewable energy and efficiency is the only genuine response to oil-fueled aggression against people and the climate,” said Greepeace Canada’s senior energy strategist Keith Stewart.
Wilkinson stated that Canada is in talks with European countries to see whether new LNG plants may be built. Canada does not yet export LNG, although a Shell-led consortium is now constructing a huge facility on the west coast.
As Europe transitions away from fossil fuels, any LNG plant would need to be ultra-low-emissions and capable of transporting hydrogen, according to Wilkinson.
There are a few of possible projects on the east coast “that are some way through the regulatory process,” Wilkinson said, without naming them.
“We’re taking a look at what we might be able to do… “Because, of course, they (Europe) are extremely reliant on Russian natural gas,” he explained.
In addition, the minister attended a discussion to examine how IEA member nations should collaborate to assure the availability of important minerals for the energy transition.