Head of International Energy Agency Prefers Canadian Oil and Gas
Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, says Canada is a preferred global oil and gas supplier and we should be taking steps to ensure we remains so in the decades to come.
The Paris-based IEA is a world-recognized authority on energy supply, demand and policy. Birol is a big advocate for net zero targets, but he acknowledges that even as the world transforms its energy systems, oil and gas will be around for a long time.
“We will still need oil and gas for years to come, I prefer that oil is produced by countries like Canada who want to reduce the emissions of oil and gas.” Birol said on Jan 13.2022
World oil consumption has returned to near pre-pandemic levels, and natural gas demand surpassed levels pre-COVID in 2021, according to IEA data. Consumption of both is expected to continue to rise even as more renewable energy sources come online.
In Europe, energy customers are feeling the pain. Europe’s natural gas crisis is in part because it depends on Russia for nearly 50% its natural gas imports. As a result, Russia’s policies “have a huge impact on the European energy mix ” Birtol said.
“The world needs reliable partners, and Canada has been a cornerstone of global energy markets, a reliable partner, for years,” Birol said.
Canada is not only stable and reliable, but its LNG supply will also be cleaner than competitors. The LNG Canada project in Kitimat B.C. is expected to have the lowest carbon emissions intensity of any large LNG facility currently operating in the world, at 60% lower than the global average. Other proposed LNG projects in Canada plan to use clean, renewable hydroelectricity to power operations, resulting in emissions profiles up to 90% lower than global competitors, the IEA stated in it’s Canada 2022 report. Canada’s first LNG exports are expected in 2025 and forecast to rise steadily thereafter.
Analysts also praised Canada’s oil and gas sector’s strong track record of reducing emissions intensity. The Canadian oil sands has reduced emissions 32% since 1990 and by 13% for natural gas production since 2010. A further reduction of up to 27% is expected in the oil sands by 2030.
The success is in part because of large investments in clean technology and environmental protection. Oil and gas companies in Canada together spend an average of $1 billion per year on energy cleantech, in addition to billions in environmental protection, the IEA stated. In 2018 alone, Canadian oil and gas companies invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives – by far the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.
Canadian oil and natural gas producers are leveraging the federal and provincial government’s stringent environmental regulations to build their global competitive advantage, as global demand for cleaner fuels and climate management grows worldwide.
With the support of international agencies such as the IEA, Canada’s energy industry is looking brighter and brighter.
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