Skip to main content
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Access every election story that matters
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A depot used to store pipes for TransCanada Corp.'s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, N.D., on Nov. 14, 2014

Andrew Culle

Canada needs to expand its market opportunities for crude oil now that a deal on Iran's nuclear program is expected to open up that country's oil supply to international trade, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said Monday.

Speaking during a news conference at the Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference in Halifax, Mr. Rickford said market access is not a priority, it's an imperative. He said Canada is well-positioned to expand its market given its political and economic stability.

"This is an economic and a political advantage that I think [sets Canada apart from] other countries who are net exporters of petroleum products," said Mr. Rickford. "But we can't rest on our laurels. We have to be vigilant in our efforts to ensure that we can supply a market beyond where we currently are."

Story continues below advertisement

He said Ottawa is working toward that end, adding that there are eight new markets exporting Canadian crude, including Spain, France and Hong Kong.

During a keynote speech on Monday afternoon, Mr. Rickford highlighted that between 2005 and 2014 Canada's crude oil exports grew by 81 per cent.

"In Italy, the value of Canadian imports grew almost six-fold between 2013 and 2014, and now account for more than 3 per cent of Italy's crude oil imports," he said.

Mr. Rickford also pointed to the government's new pipeline safety measures during his speech, which include absolute liability for all National Energy Board-regulated pipelines. Pipeline safety has been top of mind for Ottawa as it pushes the Obama administration to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf.

The Keystone XL oil pipeline, which is designed to go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, has been mired in the U.S. regulatory process for nearly seven years.

Delays in approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline have caused friction between the U.S. and Canada, which needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil production. Canada relies on the U.S. for 97 per cent of its energy exports.

Last week, the country's premiers and territorial leaders were in Newfoundland and Labrador to talk about energy issues, including the proposed Energy East pipeline, which would transport Alberta bitumen to New Brunswick.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies