How Killing The Canadian Oil Industry Is a Formula For Environmental Disaster

Today Bloomberg’s Michael Bellusci wrote an article explaining that Canadian oil and gas companies are in deep trouble.  Here is an excerpt:

Canada’s Energy Industry Faces ‘Extinction’ Without M&A, BMO Says

On the same day, Global News reported:

Feds to spend $280k to study why Canada’s oil and gas sector is falling behind

The federal government plans to spend up to $280,000 for a new study on Canada’s competitiveness in the oil and gas industry as investment lags and the United States offers new incentives for companies to move south…iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040

In general terms the issue is that with low oil prices, oil companies see better places in the world to put their money than Canada.  Oil & Gas “activists” will initially claim a victory here because they have had some impact on making it difficult to get Canadian Oil and Gas to both international and domestic markets.

where-canada-gets-its-foreign oilSo, what is the problem?  Where is the crisis?  Oil & gas DEMAND is the crisis.  There are literally zero organizations suggesting that consumption of oil and gas products will decline in the coming two decades and that means that the oil and gas is going to come from somewhere.  Much of that ‘somewhere’ will be from countries run by brutal dictators that just don’t care about the environment, like:

  • Russia – spills a massive 1% of its oil production, making it likely the worst oil & gas producer in the world
  • Nigeria – the Niger delta spills as much oil as the Deep Water Horizon spill every 3 months
  • Venezuela – ranked 160’th out of 180 countries for transparency (just one notch above North Korea!) and has one of the worst oil & gas production / transportation records in the world

Put simply, until we reduce DEMAND for oil, you will want it produced in “western” democracies like Canada & the United States:

  1. under strict environmental laws
  2. where leaks and failures get reported and quantified
  3. where oil and gas “activists” have full access to records and systems to hold oil companies to account both financially and politically

Canada has to IMPORT billions of liters of oil and gas products because it lacks the pipeline infrastructure to get Alberta’s cleanly produced and heavily monitored oil and gas into the large population centers of Ontario and Quebec.  No-one wants heavy industry or major infrastructure like highways, pipelines and powerlines in their back yard, but we need that infrastructure to live in the modern world.

Do you really think that producing oil in Algeria and transporting it to Canada on the other side of globe in tankers and then using trains to get the oil products to the cities like Toronto and Montreal that need them, is cleaner than piping Alberta oil?

‘Pipeline activists’ are generally ill-informed, naive and are going to destroy the environment so the next time you are tempted to support them keep in mind the grave damage they are doing to the environmental big picture.

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