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OPEC President urges Canada to build more pipelines

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World Pipelines,

Reuters reports that the president of OPEC urged Canada on Tuesday to invest in infrastructure to move oil and gas, or risk watching investment flow away to the US.

The Canadian government agreed in May to buy the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and a related expansion project from Kinder Morgan Canada for CAN$4.5 billion (US$3.4 billion), highlighting the lengths deemed necessary to overcome stiff opposition to such projects.

Insufficient space in the country’s oil pipelines has deepened the discount Canada’s heavy crude can attract from US refiners, compared with US light oil futures.

“If you don’t have the major infrastructure, investors are going to go to your neighbour, where infrastructure is not an issue,” said Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries President Suhail al-Mazrouei. “Act and act quickly if you want to retain those investors. I am being frank because I want to be a true friend to the Canadians”, reported Reuters.

Mazrouei was speaking in Calgary at a TD investor conference during the city’s Stampede, an annual rodeo that is also the year’s major meet and greet for Canada’s energy sector.

Mazrouei, the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister, also singled out Canada’s low-priced natural gas. Much of it is produced in landlocked Alberta, and the country lacks a robust liquefied natural gas (LNG) export sector to consume it.

LNG Canada, a proposed CAN$40 billion export facility for the British Columbia coast, is being reviewed by its joint venture partners ahead of a final investment decision.

“The solution is LNG and pipelines to export that natural gas,” Mazrouei said. “If you provide optionality for the gas, it’s going to fix itself.”

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