OTTAWA – Canada and G20 Partners Will Not Follow OPEC Countries Yet by Cutting Production to Halt Oil Price Spiral Caused by COVID-19 Crisis and Price War Between Saudi Arabia and Russia, said Canada’s Minister of Energy on Friday.
But when Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan emerged from his video conference with fellow G20 energy ministers, he said they agreed on the policies and the general principle that a market Stable energy world is linked to everyone’s security and prosperity.
G20 meeting one day after OPEC cartel and partner countries agreed on measures to raise oil prices by cutting production by one-tenth of global supply , or up to 10 million barrels per day.
“We did not discuss the figures. These were not numbers, “said O’Regan.
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 advanced, I think, today than yesterday. “
O’Regan has repeatedly refused to speculate on whether Canada could consider cutting production as part of the larger multilateral effort to restore much-needed stability in 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 seem 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 in trouble,” said O’Regan, but the oil and gas are hit hard. “Nobody drives, nobody steals.”