Canada is discussing a boost in its oil exports to make up for banned Russian volumes, for both the United States and Europe, the country’s natural resources minister has said.
Jonathan Wilkinson spoke to his counterparts from the G7 group last week, saying “In the context of the discussions, not just with the Americans, but the Europeans as well, we have essentially asked each other, those of us that are oil and gas producers, to look at whatever we can do,” in an interview with the Canadian Press.
Wilkinson appears to be optimistic that the way to increase oil exports to countries that need more oil could be finalized by March 23, when European and North American energy ministers meet in Paris at an event organized by the International Energy Agency.
“My expectation is, by the time I go to Paris, we will have a pretty good view about what we may be able to do,” Wilkinson told the Canadian Press. “I mean, we have constraints around pipeline capacity, obviously, but the ability to fully utilize that, at this point in time to help to stabilize global energy markets, and to assist our friends and allies in Europe is definitely something that we are looking at.”
Despite the expressed optimism, Canada would be as hard-pressed to satisfy European oil needs as the U.S., Australia, and Qatar are in satisfying the continent’s gas needs. Almost all of what Canada produces currently is exported to the United States, so to boost exports to Europe in any meaningful way, it would need to take supply away from the United States.
The United States, which banned Russian oil and oil product imports earlier this month, is now looking for alternative suppliers of the heavy crude Gulf Coast refineries needed to produce fuels. It even reached out to Venezuela, reportedly promising sanction relief in exchange for exclusive oil supplies.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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