As the world's third-largest reserve holder and fourth-largest producer and exporter, Canada's reliance on foreign oil is shockingly significant.
Between 1988 and 2020, Canada imported approximately $488 billion of foreign oil. According to Statistics Canada, we've imported over $23 billion from Saudi Arabia and nearly $10 billion from Nigeria over the past decade.
And, in just the first three quarters of 2021 alone, we bought roughly $10.6 billion of crude oil from foreign sources including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and some other countries but the lion's share from the United States.
Why Not Use More Canadian Oil?
With the massive benefits provided to Canadian governments by the oil and gas industry, it makes you wonder why we don't wean ourselves off of foreign oil altogether.
Research by the Canadian Energy Centre found that between 2000 and 2019, the gross contribution to federal, provincial, and municipal governments exclusively from Canada's oil and gas sector was $504.9 billion, an average of $25.2 billion per year, which the CEC deems as "… a conservative estimate of the sector's contribution to government revenues."
More sustainably produced Canadian oil being used domestically seems like a no-brainer given the economic benefits it would create for governments via the increase in collected royalties and taxes that would come with, no doubt. Remember, those revenues pay for things such as hospitals, schools and train stations, and the staff that work in them.
Light has also been shed on the environmental benefits of using domestic oil in all refineries out east. CERI found in a 2018 study that if we replaced 100 per cent of foreign oil imports with Canadian oil, we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6.2 per cent. That same scenario modelled by CERI found that Canadian refineries would spend a cumulative $23 million less per year on feedstock if that were the case.
Canada's ESG Record
It's clear that more Canadian oil on domestic markets would be a good thing for Canadian workers and the environment. And the same would be true if we were to increase our share of production exported to global markets, where we could potentially displace crude oil from nations with weaker protections for human rights and the environment.
Take, for example, that of the world's top 15 oil reserve holders, our nation ranks first on all three Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) categories based on the following indexes:
And of the world's top 20 oil producers, Canada ranks second on social and governance, and fourth on the environment. To add, of the world's top 10 oil exporters, Canada ranks number one on the following ESG indexes:
- Green Future Index 2021
- Democracy Index 2020
- Global Peace Index 2020
- Rule of Law Index 2020
- Corruptions Perception Index 2020
- Global Press Freedom Index 2020
- Sustainable Development Index 2020
- Women, Peace, Security Index 2019/20
Global Demand & Investment
Canada could use more responsibly produced Canadian oil in import-heavy provinces like New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec, but so could the world.
According to several recent projections, demand for oil is projected to grow past record highs seen in 2019, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expecting demand to continue to grow through 2050 based on the way the world is now. Both Goldman Sachs and BP have said recently that global oil demand is already back on par with the 100 million barrels per day rate of consumption seen before the pandemic.
The world will need a lot more oil in the coming years, with hundreds of billions in new investment required each year just to maintain supply and prevent future shortages.
Moody's estimates that global annual upstream spending needs to increase by as much as 54 per cent to $542 billion annually of the oil market is to avert the next supply shortage shock. The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook 2020 found that anywhere from $12-$17 trillion of additional investment is required in upstream oil and gas operations through 2050 to keep up with global demand.
Today, Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other major oil producers are investing tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars to continue the expansion of their own sectors – nations, compared to Canada, perform much poorer on all the ESG indexes above.
Canada Should Be a Choice Supplier
If major oil producers were rewarded with hundreds of billions of dollars of new investment based on their ESG scores, Canada would outclass them all.
With a growing focus by the global community on sustainable supply chains, we should all be looking towards the most environmentally focussed suppliers to provide us with the growing amounts of energy our planet needs.
Canada, with its world-class ESG performance, is well-positioned to take on the role as a go-to supplier of choice, wouldn't you agree? It's clear that as long as the world needs more oil and gas – and it will for decades to come – only the most sustainable and responsible producers should be put up to the job.
More Canadian oil and gas on global markets is not only good for Canadian families, but also for the global environment.
Join Us Today!
There is a soft-spoken majority of people in Canada that support our responsible oil and gas sector. More than 520,000 Canadian oil and gas families need your help to balance the conversation around our world-class petroleum sector, because supporting our energy workers here at home is also good for the global environment!
Global oil demand is back to 2019 highs of 100,000,000 barrels / day, and will grow for years to come.— Oil Sands Action (@OilsandsAction) November 10, 2021
The world needs more #CanadianEnergy because we are leaders in protecting people and the planet. pic.twitter.com/s6fqXs9E6P
Share this page to spread the word.
A new public opinion poll conducted by Research Co. on behalf of Canada Action confirms that a majority of Canadians support Canada's wealth-generating and environmentally responsible oil and gas sector.The November 15th poll found that more than seven-in-ten Canadians (71%) ...
For the first time in Canada, every major political party campaigning during last September’s federal election proposed a climate action platform. That fact alone is a strong indication of just how important climate is for most Canadians in 2021. You would be hard-pressed to ...
Canada’s oilsands industry is well-positioned to be a reliable, sustainable source of crude oil for decades to come says a newly released report by BMO Capital Markets. Survivor Canada: The Unparalleled Position of Canadian Oil in a Transition Challenge lays out several facts...