Bush’s win of elections will keep the Canadian oilpatch pumping

Nov 04, 2004 01:00 AM

The Canadian oilpatch should brace for four more years of record drilling and expansion in the wake of the re-election of the Bush administration and it's pro-oil agenda, industry observers say. Since the start of his first term in 2001, US President George W. Bush's administration has been keenly interested in finding more North American energy supplies and lessening its reliance on oil from the Middle East.
"The classic Canadian oilsands, I think, is going to have a lot of opportunity in the US with respect to security of supply, and a desire for increasing volumes," said energy analyst Brian Prokop of Calgary-based Peters & Co.

A line-up of multibillion-dollar projects are awaiting construction in the oily mud of northern Alberta, where energy supplies are estimated to be the second largest in the world behind Saudi Arabia.
Canada remains the largest exporter of crude oil to the US, with an average of 1.6 mm barrels crossing the border daily. And it's more striking on the gas side, where Canada accounted for 87 % of US imports last year or 15 % of total supply. Canadian natural gas will also be in increasing demand as conventional supplies wane across North America.

Regulatory applications have already been filed for a $ 7 bn pipeline to ship gas from the Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories to energy thirsty US markets. With geopolitical turmoil in many of the world's largest oil producing regions and very little excess capacity, energy supply security is of keen interest to the Bush administration.
"The Bush presidency to date has been extremely bullish for oil prices," said Vince Lauerman, a global energy strategist for the Calgary-based Canadian Energy Research Institute.

"Prices have pretty well doubled from what they were when he took power in January 2001, and we suspect that given his policies -- especially related to the war on terror -- things should continue to remain relatively hot, especially in the Middle East."
In a year of record high prices for oiland gas, the conventional oil and gas industry in Canada has been going flat-out.

Source: CalgarySun
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