Sep.28, 2010 posted by Energy security adminEnergy security
Many Canadians take energy services for granted. We have come to expect energy to be there quite literally at the flick of a switch whenever we want it. All types of energy distribution systems, whether they are electricity, natural gas or transportation fuels, have methods to ensure that we rarely have to worry about energy services not being there when we need them.
Canada is, however, as vulnerable as any other country to oil price shocks and their economic impacts. While Canada is one of a handful of oil exporting countries in the world, many parts of the country (particularly in Eastern Canada) continue to import a significant amount of oil and natural gas1.
Canada is among the world’s largest energy exporters but it sells almost exclusively to a single customer: the United States. Both nations share an integrated energy market extensively connected through roads, ports, pipelines and hydro wires. Canada has profited from having open access to a huge and important energy consumer and the US has also benefited from having a stable, reliable, and secure supply of energy at its doorstep.
However many witnesses have expressed concern that Canada’s energy sector, particularly the oil sands, are vulnerable to changes in US energy policy and those of its individual states.
In order to mitigate risk, witnesses have stressed that it was important that Canada diversify its energy markets and in so doing, benefit from the explosive growth in energy demand in Asian markets.