The world prefers Canadian oil and gas over other exporters, so let’s start getting it to them – by Germain Belzile (Financial Post – June 15, 2017)

Germain Belzile is senior associate researcher at the MEI (

Global energy demand will rise by 30 per cent between 2015 and 2040, according to the World Energy Outlook 2016 published in November by the International Energy Agency (IEA). And although renewable energy will play an increasingly important role, the IEA predicts that demand for natural gas will increase by 50 per cent over this period, largely at the expense of coal, which is much more polluting, while oil consumption will increase by 12 per cent.

Canada, of course, is a significant producer of oil and natural gas. We have the third-largest global reserves of crude, and we are the fifth-largest producers of natural gas. Given the difficulties encountered by our oil and gas industry in getting its products to market, however, we might well wonder if consumers even want Canadian oil and gas products.

Two recent polls shine a light on the opinions of Canadians and of the citizens of 31 other countries when it comes to Canadian petroleum products. The results may be surprising to some. Canada was the most preferred supplier of oil and natural gas in a global poll.

One poll, carried out by Leger on behalf of the MEI, canvassed the opinions of Quebecers; a second, much wider poll, carried out by Ipsos on behalf of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), polled the citizens of 32 countries from all around the world.

Let’s start with the perceptions of Canadians. Two-thirds of Quebecers (65 per cent) prefer that the oil consumed in Quebec come from Western Canada rather than from outside the country, according to the Leger poll. Some 68 per cent of all Canadians feel the same way, according to Ipsos.

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