Capp's Overview Of Canada's Energy Future: Lack Of Infrastructure And Opportunity For Energy Innovation

June 20, 2016

CAPP’s overview of Canada’s Energy Future: lack of infrastructure and opportunity for energy innovation

Canada’s Energy Future was the topic of a recent Greater Vancouver Board of Trade event by Jeff Gaulin, Vice President of Communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), a not-for-profit organization representing upstream oil and gas producers. From the outset of the presentation Gaulin established the need for a serious and sensible discussion about the oil and gas industry in Canada. Sunken oil prices and a high number of job losses are a tough reality for many Canadians, and CAPP believes that the underlying issue that is hindering Canada’s ability to emerge as a world energy leader is a lack of transportation infrastructure.

Oil producers worldwide have increased their production capacity, growing market supply and driving down oil prices. In fact, the US has added the equivalent of Canada’s annual oil and natural gas production in under 6 years and several new international competitors have emerged after policy changes re-opened their trade to international markets, stated Gaulin. As a result, Canada’s only customer for oil and gas, the US, is no longer dependent on Canada’s resources and Canada’s current situation is increasingly more concerning.

Here’s why:

  • Canada does not currently have the pipeline infrastructure to export oil and gas to any customer other than the US.
  • Canada does not currently have the infrastructure to transport oil and gas from west to east. Eastern Canadian refineries are importing oil from the US, and Ontario is importing 2/3 of its natural gas – despite abundant resources in western Canada.
  • Between Northern Gateway, TransMountain Expansion and Energy East, Canada has over $30 million in corporate investment held up by regulatory and social roadblocks. This inability to build projects has in turn discouraged capital investment in Canada.
  • If there was a slight increase in Canadian oil sands production, Canada’s current infrastructure would not have the capacity to transport it.

Looking Forward

CAPP emphasized that while some organizations continue their efforts to block pipelines, and oil and gas extraction in Canada, the worldwide demand for energy resources continues to increase and other countries are eagerly filling this demand. These oppositional efforts are detrimental to worldwide industry improvements as Canada is a world leader in safety and innovation for resource extraction. Oil sands producers are on the leading edge of numerous technologies to better extract, utilize and remediate the resource.

Canada has the ability to become a world energy leader if pipeline infrastructure is built and Canada continues to lead the way in energy innovation that reduce both costs and emissions. CAPP invites interested citizens to visit and spread the word!