Posts Tagged ‘South Korea’

Albertan Energy Minister strikes deal with China but Korea might move on by Felix von Geyer

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Alberta signed a legally non-binding Moratorium of Understanding with Beijing on Friday, Albertan Energy Minister Ken Hughes told reporters via a telephone press conference, although the relationship with Korea looks more uncertain.

The MOU provides Alberta with “highly unusual access” at Chinese policy level including sharing knowledge on best practice, other technology knowledge-sharing including on carbon capture and storage, said Hughes who signed the MOU in the presence of China’s President Xi Xinping and Canada’s Governor-General David Johnston.

Hughes who had toured both South Korea and China during this visit told New Orator that China was particularly interested in Canada’s natural resources, particularly its natural gas that provided a cleaner energy option than the coal which helped create poor air quality over many areas in China through the resulting smog. Despite the new MOU, Hughes stated that it was “Too early days” to suggest any forthcoming synergy between China and Canada in combatting climate change through any shared action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

On the question of Korea’s position on using Canada as an energy provider, Hughes admitted that Korea had indicated it had “many other choices and will move on” if it cannot see Canada putting its relevant infrastructure in place. In Wednesday’s Throne Speech, federal Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that Ottawa was keen to work with provinces such as Ontario and BC and other willing jurisdictions to establish co-operation, especially around natural resources.

In his Throne Speech, Harper stressed that Canada’s energy reserves are “vast… but we must be able to sell them,” he said, stressing the country’s infrastructure shortages at a time when there was “unprecedented demand” for its energy resources.

Hughes stated that he had been on tour with the Deputy Premier of British Columbia, Rick Coleman, and that both provinces were “completely aligned” in their need to get their products to market. British Columbia is keen to sell its LNG to South-East Asia while Alberta’s oil sands is facing a continuing struggle to have both its Keystone XL pipeline to the US sanctioned by the US government as well as a pipeline such as the Northern Gateway stretching over to the West Coast.

Addressing the fact that a combination of the US shale oil and gas boom had reduced demand for Canadian energy as much as there is doubt as to any imminent green light for the Keystone pipeline, Hughes said: “We need to get our products to somewhere other than the United States of America.”

Obama Keystone decision sends Canada to export to Asia

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Canada will seek to export its controversial tars sands crude to Asia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated Thursday to US President Barack Obama.

Obama announced Thursday that the Transcanada company’s Keystone XL pipeline would not be given the greenlight but did not rule out that the company could not apply again in the future. Instead Obama squarely placed the blame for his decision on the Congressional republicans for forcing an “arbitrary timeline” for the decision when an alternative pipeline route was still in the process of being agreed.

Harper “reiterated to the President that Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,” according to a readout of the telephone conversation sent to New Orator by his press secretary Andrew MacDougall later on thursday afternoon.

Asked whether this would mean Canada would seek to export its Alberta tar sands crude to Asia, notably China and South Korea who have both invested in the tar sands, MacDougall replied via e-mail: ”Asia is an area of focus in that regard.”

Harper expressed his regret to Obama over the decision, stressing the ”significant contribution” the pipeline would make to jobs and economic growth in both the US and Canada.

Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporter during Wednesday’s press briefing the President had opposed the original pipeline route that Nebraska’s Republican gocvernor had also refused to give a permit due to concerns the pipeline could leak and contaminate the Ogallala aquifer.

As an alternative route is still to be decided and agreed, Carney quipped to reporters: ”You don’t grant a permit for a pipeline with a significant portion of it missing.”

In his statement, Obama stressed his Administration remained committed to ”American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.”

Domestic oil and natural gas production has increased under Obama’s presidency, he claimed in his statement, ”while imports of foreign oil are down,” he said.

”In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security,” continued Obama.

Commenting on the 20,000 jobs Trascanada claimed the pipeline would create, Carney suggested that if Congressional Republicans mobilized behind the American Jobs Act, hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created through returning to work teachers as well as construction jobs in excess of the Keystone XL pipeline due to infrastructure spending.