KUWAIT CITY, KUWAITCanada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, wrapped up a two-day visit to Kuwait for the International Energy Forum (IEF) yesterday.
At the forum, Oliver spoke out against the E.U.’s proposed Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) and promoted Canada as a “secure” and “reliable” energy provider.
“Any policies that discriminate against oil sands will impede the free flow of global oil supplies and are detrimental to overall energy security,” Oliver told the IEF general assembly yesterday, which included energy ministers from around the world, heads of oil companies and representatives from international organizations.
“For example, implementation of the draft European Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) could have significant and unintended consequences for the world oil supply to the extent that it introduces discriminatory and non-science-based impediments to global energy markets,” he said.
The E.U.’s proposed Fuel Quality Directive, which aims to curb emissions from transport fuels by 10 per cent, classifies oilsands crude as dirtier than conventional oil. In June, The Council of Europe, a ministerial-level group of politicians from the EU’s 27 member countries, will rule on the issue.
During the two-day conference, Oliver met with several key European ministers and senior officers including those from the E.U., Germany, France, the U.K., Poland and Belgium and provided them each with a letter outlining Canada’s position on the FQD.
The same letter will also be sent to all E.U. energy and environment ministers.
Oliver also met with his counterparts from other major oil producing countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and Kuwait to discuss investment and trade opportunities.
Even though oil and gas were the focus of the forum, Oliver also stressed Canada’s investment in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and smart grids.
He also met with Korean minister and executives from Mitsubishi.
“Our Asia-Pacific gateway will be the fastest way to ship goods, including energy, between North America and Asia, and diversifying our export markets remains a key strategic objective for Canada,” he said.