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Canada and the rest of the world will transition to a less carbon-intensive energy future – it’s already happening – social and economic pressures will dictate that.
However, here in Canada and the United States, despite the rhetoric you may hear, we will continue to consume significant quantities of oil to fuel the 280 million vehicles that North Americans need to start every morning.
And as we transition off coal-fired electricity, it will be replaced largely by natural gas, and as a result, demand for natural gas will grow even higher.
And at the same time, global demand for oil and gas will continue to grow, driven by a massive population in developing economies striving to obtain a lifestyle for their families similar to what we enjoy here in Canada. For example, there are 1.3 billion people in China that want to have the same quality of life that you and I have.
The International Energy Agency – a group of 28 countries cooperating to provide the world’s most credible outlook for energy demand for the next 25 years — believes that the demand for energy is going to continue to grow at a rate of 1.1 per cent through 2040.
We see substantial growth in renewable sources such as solar and wind in the coming years, but based on best estimates today, their contribution remains five per cent of primary energy demand by 2040.
To meet the world’s appetite for energy, we will need these sources, but we will also need growing volumes of oil and gas.
Specifically with respect to oil, according to the IEA, it means an increase of approximately 13 per cent in global consumption of oil by 2040.
Similarly on the front on natural gas, the IEA predicts natural gas consumption worldwide will increase 10 times the current production of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
As Canadians, we have the fortunate circumstance of being endowed with substantial reserves of oil and gas, more than we will ever need for our own consumption.
We have the third largest reserve of crude oil in the world. 172 billion barrels – the lion’s share of which is in the Canadian oilsands.
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