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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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Canada's Global Role

In 2003, Canada was the third highest producer of natural gas in the world and produced 3.7 percent of the world’s oil. Canada’s role in the global oil and gas industry is vital to the country and impacts the whole world. This position depends greatly on the actions and policies of the government and industry. The Canadian government’s international policies affect the way the petroleum industry functions. In response to the world oil crisis of 1973-74, Canada became a member of the International Energy Agency. The agency focuses on many energy issues that Canada and the world faces: climate change policies, market reforms, and sharing technology. The agency compiles data and provides analyses and recommendations on energy practices. Various divisions in the Government of Canada energy sector also address Canada’s rights in offshore oil and gas operations. As well, they assess developments in international oil and gas prices and supply levels, and promote market access. The government’s role is to manage federal interests in the world petroleum market, and to provide advice to Canadian oil and gas companies. The goal is to encourage a good business climate for the Canadian petroleum industry to operate in.

However, the relationship between Canadian industry, government, and international concerns can be difficult. Major environmental concerns are being addressed, with environmental stewardship becoming a key part for the oil and gas industry. Many individuals and agencies believe that more should be done and that Canada should be a leader in environmental protection. With any policy there exist different outlooks and approaches, which may or may not be supported by all parties. From the National Energy Program in the 1970s to the current push for deregulation and the Kyoto Accord, Canada has created international and domestic petroleum policies that have and continue to affect our nation and world.

Canada's Global Role
This excerpt from CKUA “Roughnecks, Wildcats, and Doddlebugs” talks about the reputation of Canadians in the international oil patch. Listen


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