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Canadian oilsands CEOs are calling directly on Canadian voters to “influence the outcome” on major oil and gas issues in the runup to Canadian federal elections this October. Three of Canada’s mightiest oilsands producers, Meg Energy Corp, Cenovus, and Canadian Natural Resources, have taken out full-page ads in 30 Canadian dailies—a rare but not unheard of move by the desperate oilsands industry that has suffered under pipeline capacity constraints and widening spreads between WCS and WTI.
The oil companies typically go through an intermediary for ads, such as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Another pro-oil group in Canada, the Canada Oilsands Community, took a stab at promoting the industry back in 2016 with interesting results. The group created a meme on Facebook that sought to bolster support for Canadian oil over Saudi oil, using the argument that “In Canada, lesbians are considered hot! In Saudi Arabia, if you’re a lesbian YOU DIE!” The meme garnered more attention than they bargained for, and the backlash on Facebook was swift.
Today’s more sensible ad asks readers to ask political leaders to lend their support to the energy industry.
“This is not an ‘either‘ ’or’ conversation, it’s an ‘and’ conversation,” the ad reads. “The world needs more energy to sustain a growing global economy that is expected to lift three billion people out of poverty in the decades ahead. We need more wind, solar and hydro, but oil and gas remain a large part of the mix too….”
Taking a page from the anti-oil lobby playbook, the strategy of going directly to the people, who theoretically influence politicians, rather than lobbying the politicians directly is perhaps a sign of things to come for the oil industry—change the public narrative that has been casting a long shadow over the oil industry.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.