The responsible energy we produce in Canada makes the world better. Energy provides the most basic human needs, from food production to heat and power for our homes. The world is an increasingly complicated place with political conflicts and a growing energy crisis. Conflict is occurring readily in countries that have traditionally exported large amounts of oil and natural gas. How those resources are produced, both from an environmental and ethical lens, is becoming increasingly important.
Canadian oil and gas producers have a strong commitment to minimizing our environmental footprint, with proven results. Beyond being known for our beautiful Rocky Mountains, cold winters and politeness, Canada is known for the safe and ethical way we provide energy globally.
Interestingly, the polls agree that the world appreciates the Canadian way of producing oil and gas. A new Ipsos poll shows that people in 28 countries, which included 24,000 respondents, ranked Canada as the No. 1 choice for countries that import oil. Canada was the preferred supplier by 55 per cent of respondents, Norway ranked second at 53 per cent and the United States followed at 52 per cent. The Middle East, Mexico, Venezuela, Russia and China ranked at the bottom. Canada’s ranking shows an increasing value of strong records of democracy, environmental safety and social considerations.
We have the resources and the potential to do more. Increasing the availability of Canadian products will help minimize the global environmental effects of the oil and gas industry.
Oil and gas producers have a long commitment to environmental, social and governance initiatives. By sharing the care we take of the environment and communities in which we operate, consumers around the world will demand Canadian responsibly produced products.
The polls agree, but do consumers and policymakers pay attention? Are Canadians proud of the role our industry is playing on the global stage to set high standards? Do political leaders facing an energy crisis focus on how and where their energy is produced?
Regardless of the source of energy, demand is growing. Energy demand worldwide is projected to grow by 21 per cent by 2040, with global demand for natural gas expected to increase 28 per cent and global demand for oil to increase by 17 per cent by 2050 (International Energy Agency, 2021). Canada GHG emissions in a global context sit at 1.5 per cent, with Canada’s oil and gas industry at 0.3 per cent (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2019), compared with Russia at four per cent, the U.S. at 12 per cent, and China at 24 per cent (World Resources Institute, 2019). Canada was ranked fourth on the Global Cleantech Index in 2019 (Cleantech Group) and Canada’s oil and gas sector is the largest spender on clean technology, accounting for approximately 75 per cent of the $1.4 billion investment each year in Canada (Statistics Canada).
The world is working to transition to a lower-carbon future while grappling with energy security; Canadian producers are seizing the opportunity to be a leader in that future. Ideological government policies such as punitive carbon taxes, proposed emissions caps only on oil and gas production, and “just transition” legislation are not helping. Canada needs policies that support energy transformation, such as fast-tracking LNG export facilities and world-class carbon capture and storage facilities. We can provide energy solutions for the world’s growing population and reduce emissions at the same time.
Athabasca Oil, like many of our peers, continues to make progress in reducing our carbon footprint through investing in new technologies. We are developing a CCS project at Leismer (SAGD facility near Fort McMurray). In 2022, the engineering design was advanced and, once government fiscal and regulatory policy are in place, we anticipate the sanctioning of the project.
Industry, together with Indigenous partners, regulators and governments at all levels must work together to create more Canadian energy to better the world. We have smart minds in this industry and government policies must align to support innovation to better the world for our children’s children.
The future is bright, with Canadian energy lighting the path forward.