Canada, G20 mum on cutting oil output, but minister cites good co-operation

Canada, G20 mum on cutting oil output, but minister cites good co-operation

Canada, G20 mum on cutting oil output, but minister cites good co-operation

OTTAWA — Canada and its G20 partners won’t yet be following OPEC nations by cutting production to stop spiralling oil prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, Canada’s energy minister said Friday.

But when Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan emerged from his video conference with his fellow G20 energy ministers, he said they agreed on policies and the general principle that a stable global energy market is tied to everyone’s security and prosperity.

The G20 meeting came one day after the OPEC cartel and its partner countries agreed to measures to boost oil prices by cutting production by a tenth of global supply, or as much as 10 million barrels a day.

“We did not discuss numbers. It was not about numbers,” O’Regan said.

He billed the meeting a success in part because it appeared Russia and Saudi Arabia — both G20 members — played nice on finding a common solution after their international oil price war.

In March, Russia would not agree to cut its output, so an angry Saudi Arabia responded increasing its oil production and reducing its price.

“It was really quite something, that they were, that everybody agreed on the need for price stability. Solidarity is the world that came to mind,” said O’Regan.

“It’s not where we need to be yet. But I think it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and we’re much further ahead I think today than we were yesterday.”

O’Regan repeatedly refused to speculate on whether Canada might consider curtailing its production as part of the broader multilateral effort to bring much-needed stability back to the global energy market.

He said it is no secret that production has dropped in Newfoundland, Alberta and Saskatchewan and that consumers are hurting. Alberta alone has seen its daily production drop by 80,000 barrels.

Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not say whether Canada would take measures to reduce its output.

“As we know, Alberta has already curtailed production and has for some time now,” he said.

“We’re going to continue to look to make sure that other countries are doing their part and that people understand the most important thing through this is to ensure that families and workers across the country, and indeed around the world, are getting the support they need to get through this crisis safely.”

O’Regan said the long-awaited bailout for Canada’s energy sector is coming soon, but he didn’t say when.

He did say it would contain measures to improve “liquidity” for the energy companies.

While cheaper gas prices might look good for consumers at the gas pumps, O’Regan said: “When you have a healthy oil and gas market in this country, it has a huge impact on the national economy.”

Canada is the world’s fourth largest oil producer and the sector employs directly or indirectly more than 830,000 people.

A healthy energy sector is also vital to Canada in its fight against climate change and for the eventual transition to cleaner, renewable sources of energy, O’Regan said.

“The only way you can do that really is by working with our oil and gas industry” because of innovations in the industry itself, he said.

“Every facet of the economy is hurting,” O’Regan said, but oil and gas is taking a significant hit. “Nobody’s driving, nobody’s flying.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2020.

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

oil & gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The newly built Parkland Regional Library Services. (Photo Submitted)
Parkland Regional Library system moves into new offices in Lacombe

“Someone with a Parkland Library card can borrow from 350 libraries in Alberta,” Ron Sheppard

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Mountain Cree Traditional Band’s headquarters broken into five times

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Indigenous people gather for a ceremony for Cindy Gladue held at the courthouse in Edmonton, Alta, on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Bradley Barton, a 52-year-old long-haul truck driver from Ontario on trial for manslaughter, is accused of killing Gladue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
People stand in support of mother as new trial gets underway in death of Cindy Gladue

Bradley Barton, a long-haul truck driver from Ontario, will now be tried for manslaughter in the 2011 death

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Facebook/ The Open Door 24/7 Integrated Response Hub- Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin residents show support for 24/7 Integrated Response Hub

Wetaskiwin residents and City Council members showed support for Hub with positive signs.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read