Canada has the third-largest oil reserves in the world, but we import large volumes of oil from foreign sources into Eastern Canada, including Quebec, every day.
Oil refineries in Quebec and Atlantic Canada import more than 600,000 barrels per day from foreign sources. But with Canadian oil production growing, using Canadian crude oil in Quebec, instead of imports, is an attractive option.
Many foreign oil suppliers to Quebec, such as Algeria, Angola and Kazakhstan, don’t have the regulatory system or transparent environmental reporting that Canada has in place.
You can’t discuss safety or environmental performance, or push for better performance, unless you have the data, technology and people to improve it. Our track record of technological investment and advancement — such as reducing oilsands GHG emissions 28 per cent per barrel since 1990 — indicates that Canada does.
Second, when oil is produced in Canada, Canadians benefit.
Crude oil is Quebec’s top imported product. Government data shows the province spent $13.7 billion importing oil from international markets in each of 2012 and 2013. Most of that total comes from overseas markets, with little in the way of economic return.
However, Alberta’s oilsands sector has purchased nearly $600 million in goods and services from Quebec over the past two years, according to an estimate by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. These are tangible benefits for Quebec’s economy.
Regardless of where Quebec sources its crude oil, most of it arrives via pipeline — reliably and safely.
Pipelines have delivered crude oil, including oil sands crude, in North America for decades.
When it comes to safety, the pipeline industry has a singular objective: zero pipeline incidents. In 2012, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) announced CEPA Integrity First, which is a program that defines and implements best operating practices for pipeline safety, environmental protection and socio-economic issues. The program enables pipeline companies to systematically seek continuous performance improvements in a transparent manner.
Canadian crude will move to market, or demand will be met by oil from other sources. In either event, oil will be produced, transported and consumed.
Connecting responsibly produced Canadian supplies safely to markets in Quebec, Eastern Canada and beyond remains a key priority for our industry.
Quebec and Canada will benefit as a result, because oil from Canada is the best choice for all Canadians.