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

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read