Why Canada’s oil and gas sector gets so little respect

Despite the dramatic decrease in carbon emissions intensity

Why Canada’s oil and gas sector gets so little respectBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Want to know why Canadian oil and gas gets so little respect from anti-oil and gas activists? It’s not because Canada’s main energy sector is somehow a miscreant on measures of carbon emissions or anything else. Instead, it is often due to three approaches: focusing only…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul with energy subsidies?

There is no subsidy pot of gold going to oil and gas companies that can be diverted to renewable energy ventures

Robbing Peter to pay Paul with energy subsidies?By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When the issue of taxpayer subsidies for energy comes up – oil and gas and renewables alike – the public, policy-makers and media could be forgiven if they feel like they’re drowning. Endless decimal points and numbers that run into the trillions can make it near…

New Canadians prosper in oil and gas sector

Immigrant wages in oil and gas extraction in Canada are 71 per cent higher than in manufacturing and are rising faster than in other sectors

New Canadians prosper in oil and gas sectorBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre A few years ago, one of us took an early morning taxi ride in Vancouver. The driver, originally from Latin America, began to complain – without prompting – about how crazy it was that local anti-oil-and-gas protesters were trying to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.…

Killing Keystone XL gives other countries an advantage over Canada 

Plenty of other countries ready to take over Canada’s market share if Canada exits the oil business

Killing Keystone XL gives other countries an advantage over Canada By Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre The killing of the cross-border Keystone XL pipeline due to anti-oil activism and politics will change nothing about worldwide oil demand. All it does is hand an advantage to Canada’s competitors. Worldwide oil consumption has been on an upward trajectory, and with the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding…

Why Canada’s heavy oil is an integral part of U.S. production

Anyone who thinks the U.S. can do without Canadian oil, especially heavy oil, is misinformed. Canadian oil is critical to the Americans

Why Canada’s heavy oil is an integral part of U.S. productionBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre The United States banned exports of crude oil in the mid-1970s, as the result of an oil embargo directed at the U.S. by Middle Eastern countries. The embargo began as a result of American support for Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In response, some…

Energy industry and Canada’s national interests go hand in hand

No more than a sliver of Canada’s natural resources should ever be controlled by non-democracies

Energy industry and Canada’s national interests go hand in handCanadians are used to peace and relative prosperity compared to the rest of the world and are occasionally naïve about it. They assume it’s a regular state of affairs rather than an exception. Canada is an exception, in large part because the country is surrounded by three oceans with one neighbour, the United States, a…

Oil and gas sector soars over aerospace, auto industries

Higher wages and better productivity contribute to an industry that’s a dominant part of Canada’s economy and its GDP

Oil and gas sector soars over aerospace, auto industriesBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre It’s hard for anyone but mathematicians and economists to conceptualize numbers in the billions. To get around that problem, and as a prelude to comparing major Canadian industries, let’s start with a smaller number and a question: How would you like to make $2,740 every week?…

America may not like it but pipelines are crucial

Are we prepared for the economic consequences of shutting them down?

America may not like it but pipelines are crucialBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre There’s nothing like real life as a corrective to Disney-like musings, where fantasies are concocted absent any connection to reality. The newest example comes from a recent ransomware attack directed against Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline. The American pipeline company, which ships 100 million gallons of refined fuel…

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas production

We have to beware tyrannies and autocracies that use oil and natural gas as weapons

Democracies can’t abandon oil and gas productionBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre History shows tyrannies and autocracies use oil and natural gas as weapons when interacting with democracies. This is obvious during wars – tanks and jets don’t run on vegetable oil – as well as peacetime. For example, in 2009, Russia cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine in…

Asia offers huge payoff for Canadian LNG producers

Anti-gas advocates who claim otherwise are daft

Asia offers huge payoff for Canadian LNG producersBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre If you’ve heard that Canada should skip plans to export natural gas to Asia, including from a few anti-oil-and-gas academics, you’ll notice one theme pops up: how Canadian firms really shouldn’t waste their time because there’s no money in it. This reasoning is daft. If there…

Canada’s gas flaring practices among the best in the world

In 2019, Canada recorded a 49% reduction in flaring from just five years earlier. And Canada is responsible for just 0.7% of worldwide

Canada’s gas flaring practices among the best in the worldBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre If you’ve spent time in Western Canada near an oil or gas well or refinery, you might have noticed a smokestack-like pipe with a flame at the top. Or you might have seen such a flame in pictures of refineries in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Texas, or…

A web of pipelines binds the Canada, U.S. economies together

453,000 km worth of tubes provide a plethora of jobs

A web of pipelines binds the Canada, U.S. economies togetherBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre “Designing hypothetical roadmaps outlining complete elimination of fossil carbon from the global energy supply by 2050 is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking that ignores fundamental physical realities,” wrote Vaclav Smil a year ago. Smil, a University of Manitoba professor of the environment (emeritus), wants less…

Canadian oil still the safest bet for Americans

Canada was the only free-country supplier of foreign crude oil to the U.S. between 1993 and 2020

Canadian oil still the safest bet for AmericansBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Imagine you’re in Germany and wonder if it’s a good idea to rely so heavily on natural gas imports from Russia, where the governing regime is accused by German politicians of killing journalists and the attempted murder of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. German Chancellor Angela…

Which sector spends the most on the environment? Oil and gas

Between 2006 and 2018 the oil and gas sector spent $28.1 billion on environmental protection; ALL other industries combined spent $39.6 billion

Which sector spends the most on the environment? Oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre As two people not born in Alberta but who live here now – one of us came from British Columbia and the other from India – we’re constantly amazed at the misinformation about the province and one of Canada’s biggest economic contributors: the oil and gas…

Oil and gas sector’s high productivity primes our standard of living

Has led to significantly higher wages, higher investment by industry, more taxes and royalty revenues for governments

Oil and gas sector’s high productivity primes our standard of livingBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre We take a lot for granted. Consider the evolution in farming over the centuries. Imagine being a farmer a century or more ago. You likely used animals or your muscle to move a plow to furrow the soil in preparation for planting the seeds. Perhaps you…

Why America shouldn’t cut off Canada’s energy supplies

Canadian oil helps keep the United States economy humming and natural gas helps keep American homes warm

Why America shouldn’t cut off Canada’s energy suppliesBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre In a world where Russian President Vladimir Putin is widely assumed to be behind the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, liberal democracies should stick together. This should be especially relevant on matters related to energy. Russia has been using energy exports as a weapon for…

Insurers walking from oil sands projects defies logic

By every measure, Canada is a beacon of civil, political and economic rights

Insurers walking from oil sands projects defies logicBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Over the past two years, three insurance companies from Europe – Axa, Zurich and Swiss Re – announced plans to stop insuring Canadian oil sands projects, and reduce or entirely eliminate investments in the oil and gas sector. The reason offered is the standard refrain: assumed…

Pipeline cancellations cost Canadians billions of dollars a year

A vocal minority opposed to resource development damaging our prosperity

Pipeline cancellations cost Canadians billions of dollars a yearBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Oil and natural gas pipelines are like light switches on the wall. You take them for granted, along with the expectation that once flipped, your lights will come on. In normal company and normal times, few people would discuss over dinner something as arcane as tubes…

Canada missing a critical opportunity in the LNG market

The world sped ahead getting LNG online but Canada stalled, meaning lost revenue and missed environmental opportunity

Canada missing a critical opportunity in the LNG marketBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Over the past several years, a plethora of naysayers have reflexively opposed the extraction and export of natural gas from Canada. Some critics have even argued that the prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) shouldn’t warrant investment by Canadian companies. Much of this anti-LNG sentiment has…

Australia’s energy jobs rise while Canada’s stall

The sheer scale of investment in the natural gas industry in Australia has yielded substantial economic benefits

Australia’s energy jobs rise while Canada’s stallBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When U.S. President Joe Biden recently revoked the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, it was a reminder of how anti-oil-and-gas activism and politics over the years can kill Canadian (and American) jobs. It was also a reminder of how dependent Canada is on one…

Oil and gas exports critical to Canada’s economic future

It is a mistake to think Canada can thrive without the export wealth generated by the energy sector

Oil and gas exports critical to Canada’s economic futureBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre You may have heard the persistent worldwide narrative that oil and natural gas are dead, or soon will be, and can easily be replaced with other forms of energy. The latter claim is simply false. Read the work of energy transition expert Vaclav Smil, professor of…

Canada must seize LNG opportunities in Asian market

Canada must seize LNG opportunities in Asian marketBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre There’s a dearth of sensible analysis when it comes to reasonable ways to decrease carbon emissions. Some point fingers at Canada’s oil sands, or oil and gas more generally. They imagine if that industry disappeared, somehow carbon emissions would magically evaporate as well. The reality is…

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwined

How Atlantic Canada fortunes and oil and gas are intertwinedBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Atlantic Canada struggled to create good-paying jobs long before the COVID-19 pandemic. The multiple reasons include poor policy and high taxes on businesses and individuals. Poor policy reinforces other lousy policy, leading to a self-reinforcing downward economic spiral. For instance, previous governments formed policy forbidding fracking…

Alberta oil and gas critical to B.C.’s economy

The impact of oil and natural gas is significant, whether it is for salaries, Indigenous jobs, or GDP

Alberta oil and gas critical to B.C.’s economyBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre How much do the oil and natural gas industries contribute to British Columbia’s economy? One way to see the impact is to look at those of Indigenous ancestry. Their employment proportions across sectors and incomes reveals a lot about where the good-paying jobs are, and also…

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weapon

International power politics employed by the likes of Russia have resulted in many countries looking for new energy sources

Autocratic regimes use energy as a weaponBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre Russia cut off the natural gas supply to Ukraine in mid-winter 2009, ostensibly over a pricing dispute. It was a reminder that energy can be used as an economic and political weapon by autocratic regimes – in this instance, Vladimir Putin’s Russia. We have more recent…

Why oil and gas are fundamental to Canada

The $493 billion in oil and gas revenues paid to governments since 2000 is more than family allowance and children’s benefits since 1970

Why oil and gas are fundamental to CanadaBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Humans are wired to respond to stories that paint a relatable picture of an issue at hand. And those stories are easier to remember. If we repeat a Rex Murphy story about how out-of-work cod fishery workers from Newfoundland saved their homes and marriages by moving…

U.S. natural gas producers benefit from Canada’s retreat

Less supportive policies and regulatory constraints has led to natural gas stagnation in Canada

U.S. natural gas producers benefit from Canada’s retreatBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre The United States has undergone an energy renaissance of sorts in recent years. After decades of importing significant volumes of natural gas, there has been a transformation in both the economy and policy on that source of energy in particular. Americans began to produce and export…

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gas

Alberta’s consumers, businesses and governments were responsible for $31.4 billion of Ontario’s total interprovincial trade in 2016 alone

Why Ontarians should care about Alberta oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre “All politics is local,” as 1980s-era U.S. House of Representatives leader Tip O’Neill put it. O’Neill’s point was straightforward: Voters care about what affects them. That, naturally, is where politicians then aim their promises and rhetoric. What’s true in politics is also true of the economy:…

How oil and gas fuels the nation’s economy

The importance of oil and gas extraction to Canada’s GDP, jobs, incomes or tax revenues can’t be understated

How oil and gas fuels the nation’s economyBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre No matter how you slice it, Canada’s oil and natural gas sector has been one of the nation’s most significant contributors to jobs, gross domestic product (GDP) and tax revenues over the decades. Even in down years, such as 2016, the oil and gas extraction sector…

Canada’s foreign oil imports: $477 billion since 1988

Canada’s foreign oil imports: $477 billion since 1988By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When forecasting future oil consumption around the world, many people have opinions and agendas. Forecasts rooted in facts and technological capabilities are more rare. An example of an informed opinion comes from Vaclav Smil, professor emeritus of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Environment. Smil is…