He called the meeting a success in part because it seemed that Russia and Saudi Arabia – the two G20 members – had played well in finding a joint solution after their international oil price war.
In March, Russia will not agree to cut production, so angry Saudi Arabia responded by increasing oil production and lowering prices.
“It was really something, that they were, that everyone agreed on the need for price stability. Solidarity is the world that came to my mind, “said O’Regan.
“This is not yet where we need to be. But I think it is certainly a step in the right direction, and we are much more ahead, I think today, than yesterday. “
O’Regan has repeatedly refused to speculate on whether Canada might consider cutting back on production as part of the broader multilateral effort to restore much-needed stability to the global energy market.
He says it is no secret that production has dropped in Newfoundland, Alberta and Saskatchewan and that consumers are suffering. Alberta alone has seen its daily production drop by 80,000 barrels.
Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not say if Canada would take steps to reduce production.
“As we know, Alberta has already cut production and has been doing it for some time now,” he said.
“We will continue to seek to ensure that other countries do their part and that people understand that the most important thing through this is to ensure that families and workers across the country, and even everywhere around the world, get the support they need to get through this crisis safely. “
O’Regan said the long-awaited rescue plan for the Canadian energy sector will arrive soon, but did not say when.
He said it would contain measures to improve “liquidity” for energy companies.
While cheaper gas prices may sound good to consumers at the gas pump, O’Regan said: “When you have a healthy oil and gas market in this country, it has a huge impact on the national economy. “
Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer of oil and the sector directly or indirectly employs more than 830,000 people.
A healthy energy sector is also vital to Canada in its fight against climate change and the eventual transition to cleaner renewable energy sources, said O’Regan.
“The only way to do that is really to work with our oil and gas industry” because of the innovations in the industry itself, he said.
“All facets of the economy are suffering,” said O’Regan, but oil and gas are being hit hard. “Nobody drives, nobody steals.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 10, 2020.
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press