Reaching a transportation agreement on shipping natural gas to the Lower 48 from the North Slope and Mackenzie Delta is high on the priority list for Canada’s new Natural Resources Minister John Efford.
Within days of his cabinet appointment Dec. 12, he met with U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to open the door to wide-ranging energy discussions.
Efford told reporters in Calgary Jan. 12 that he would like to see a North American agreement on gas development as part of a new Canadian energy strategy to boost oil and gas exports to the United States.
In his meeting with Abraham, Efford referred to proposals for liquefied natural gas terminals in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to help meet U.S. energy needs, along with the need to expand infrastructure in the Alberta oil sands and develop Arctic gas.
He said he repeatedly impressed on Abraham the importance of the oil sands in the energy equation and “I’m hoping he’s going to find some time this year” to visit Alberta.
Overriding Efford’s talks is his determination to mend fences with the United States to ensure Canada remains the largest supplier of oil, natural gas and petroleum products to the U.S.
Without directly referring to the tensions created by his predecessor Herb Dhaliwal, Efford said “improving the relationship between Canada and the U.S. is a must.
“The energy relationship and the export of energy resources to the U.S. is major,” he said.