Selling Oil to Asia Critical

From Toronto Sun

By Jackie L. Larson

A new report touting American energy self-sufficiency is sounding the alarm for increasing Asian access for Alberta bitumen.

The London-based International Energy Agency said the province’s largest customer, the United States, will be nearly self-sufficient for energy overall by 2035 and a net exporter of natural gas within a decade from now.

Alberta has more reasons than ever to look to Asia to market bitumen, according to Energy Minister Ken Hughes.

“We need to get access to the Pacific Coast, we need to get access to the East Coast and we need to diversify our markets away from the United States,” he said. “A lot of things can happen between now and (2035) — one of those, hopefully, is that we have access to the Pacific Coast, one way or another.”

Canadian producers are hopeful a window of opportunity will remain for Canadian oil, explained Mark Pinney, manager of markets and transportation for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The report suggests America’s production of oil could rise from eight million barrels a day now to 9.2 million barrels a day by 2035 and U.S. oil consumption could decline by almost a third, from 17.6 million barrels of oil a day now to 12.6 million barrels a day by 2035.

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