Canadian Energy Firms Won't Break U.S. Contracts To Sell More Oil To China

Posted on Monday, November 07 at 15:34 by jensonj
Deposits exist in three northeastern Alberta locations -- Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake -- which together store about 1.7 trillion barrels of oil, or about one-third of the world's known oil reserves, according to statistics on the University of Alberta's website. With more advances in technology and increased investment, extraction from the oilsands is expected to amount to half of Canada's total production by 2025. Dale Lunan, editor of the Calgary-based monthly trade magazine, Oilweek, closely follows the sector from its heartland. Stories about the steady traffic are not a heavy focus in the 60-year-old magazine, but the bonanza the worldwide exposure is creating is a recurring theme throughout most of the business success stories he features. The following is an edited version of a phone conversation between Embassy and Mr. Lunan last week. Beyond the business pages, Canadian oil and gas companies are oftentimes portrayed in the media for their operations' negative social or environmental impact. Describe Oilweek's coverage. When we wrote about Encana in Ecuador they were getting a lot of flack from the general media about what they weren't doing, and we looked at what they were doing. They were doing a lot of community-level work with medical clinics. They just weren't going in and pillaging the local people and sucking the oil and sticking it in the pipeline and leaving. And that is what was being presented in the media. We're not an apologist for the oil industry but we don't go out of our way to look for the negative. We're basically telling success stories. Describe a unique success story of a Canadian company working internationally. PanOcean [Energy] in Gabon [Africa]. It was a company that grew out of a fairly significant Canadian company [Ocelot Energy]. It's been run now by [chief executive] David Lyons of Calgary. He is the son of Vern Lyons [now the chairman of PanOcean] who started Ocelot Energy. When Mr. Lyons took over, he realized there wasn't a future for a medium sized or small sized companies at the time and he looked overseas. He's gone from 1,000 barrels a day to up to 15,000. Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference this month in Montreal, Prime Minister Paul Martin and his caucus are profiling Canada as a champion of a sustainable global environment. Does that make people in the non-renewable energy sector nervous? There have been plenty of assurances from Ottawa that the energy industry won't be singled out for an undue burden under Kyoto. The prevailing sentiment throughout is that Kyoto is a flawed document. It will not work; it cannot work; it has no hope of working. All it can do -- regardless of what segment of the industry, whether its energy or auto or whatever -- is hurt the Canadian economy. It's not something that is going to accomplish what it set out to do -- reduce emissions. All it's going to do is shift them. It's a political document and it has no basis in reality. http://www.embassymag.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2005/november/2/us_contracts/

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