Canada is fast becoming the economic battleground between China and the US. Yesterdy, Kinder Morgan announced a $7 billion takeover bid of Terasen Gas of British Columbia. Terasen is a major pipeline operator into the oil and gas fields of Northern BC and Alberta and is active in the Oil Sands.
It is also a Natural Gas provider for BC (me).
You can bet this is a move to secure American controlled access to the Alberta Oil Sands…
Canadian companies are, predictably, happy to accomodate either China or the US. A few state-owned companies have already made some purchases, here’s an article from the SF Chronicles which is presented as a bit of a wakeup call to Americans who may think that Canadian Oil is American Oil.
The Oil sands won’t be seriously developed anytime soon. It’s still simply too expensive. People have to understand that when these oil sands are finally tapped there is absolutely no chance that the price of oil will come down.. a high price is neeeded just for Big Oil to “afford” the price of extraction. And in reality, the production output of the Oil Sands will not be significant enough to satisfy the worlds growing daily consumption of oil… which means prices will only go higher.
As an aside, British Columbia has vast untapped oil and gas reserves (20 billion barrels of crude in one of the fields) off the coast. There has been a moratorium on oil and gas exploration for the past 30 years to protect the fragile ecosystems in these near coastal regions. Moresby Island in The Haida Gwai (Queen Charlotte Islands) is a World Heritage Site and the fishing, while under threat, is still good. Public support for lifting the moratorium is still very low but it has been growing, and the government, both Federal and Provincial has been salivating at the thought of more oil and gas revenue.
As a result, I expect the moratorium to be lifted sometime in the next 2-5 years and exploration and developed.
It seems as though, as Saudi Arabia and the other producers of historic oil reserves decline, Canada is set to become an even bigger player in the world oil markets. This is no doubt good for Canada, but only in the short term.
I fear that because Canada is blessed with such vast, untapped, oil reserves it will be far too slow to pursue and implement alternative energy sources. Canada has a very modern and robust economy, a progressive and highly skilled population, some of the best researchers in the world, vast natural resources and so much more. We have all the tools to take a run at developing the Next Big Thing.
In the History of the Human race there have only been two fuels to power society. For the first thousands of years it was wood. Then with the Industrial Revolution came Coal and Oil. Now, only a couple centuries later, we are on the verge of the 3rd Great Transition of the Human Race.
This task is simply too mammoth and too widespread for one company or consortium or conglomerate to tackle. Our destiny can not be allowed to be controlled by elite shareholders.
We must all have a stake in determining our future and we must all be willing to pay for it. Much like the Apollo program, only governments have the ability to fund initiatives like the one we require.
It is time the Canadians and the Canadian government stand up and make their presence felt on this Earth. We must seize this opportunity to implement a new energy source. We must use not only our own dollars, but also the dollars generated directly from the Hydrocarbon economy itself. As prices rise more and more money could be put away to fund the future initiative.
Maybe this is just my crazy idea, but I think it can be done. I think Canada and Canadians can do it. I think our Political parties are missing an opportunity to capture the incredible energy and optimism that every Canadian possesses.