The European Union’s new fuel quality directive (FQD) will treat Canada’s oil sands on a level playing field with other sources of oil around the world, creating new export opportunities for energy and allowing Canada to compete more freely in the global market, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said today.
“This is an important signal for Canada as it means our oil will not face discrimination in Europe. It also opens the door further for Canadian companies to compete on a level playing field for new markets in Europe and abroad,” said Tim McMillan, CAPP president and chief executive officer. “Today’s development means market access – building the infrastructure to get Canadian oil to world markets by all means in all directions – should be a national priority to grow our economy.”
The European Union’s original FQD proposal singled out Canadian oil sands crude as more carbon dioxide intensive than conventional oil. Late in 2014, the FQD was revised to avoid discrimination against Canada and to encourage transparent reporting from all countries. The EU’s deadline for comments on the current version of the FQD passed today without any proposed amendments.
“Canada has transparent industry performance reporting in place, which is not the case for many countries that supply oil to the European Union,” McMillan said.
Exports of Canadian crude oil to Europe are just beginning to occur and expanded transportation infrastructure in Canada – with proposed pipelines such as Energy East– will lead to increased exports in the future. While CAPP is not opposed to the concept of a fuel quality directive, CAPP and many others provided significant input to the European Union throughout its extensive process to ensure a strong scientific and factual basis for the policy. Alberta has had a carbon dioxide reduction policy in place since 2007.
“Canada needs all pipelines in all directions to help Canadians get full value for their resources and to generate economic growth and create jobs across the country,” McMillan said. “For Europe, improved access to Canadian crude oil means we could provide a stable, secure supply of responsibly produced energy and reduce Europe’s supply risk due to geopolitical factors.”
Oil sands crude has a similar carbon footprint to other heavy oils around the world and to conventional oils produced with associated flaring of natural gas. The oil and gas sector recognizes the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from production and has reduced oil sands GHG emissions per barrel by about 28 per cent since 1990.
“We are accelerating development and implementation of new technologies, with the goal of further reducing oil sands GHG emissions per barrel to be as good as or better than competing supplies in global markets,” McMillan said.