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Canadian Energy Exports: The Landscape, the Challenges, and the Driving Forces Behind the Need For Market Access

Marie H. Buchinski, Matthew S. Kronby, Duncan M. McPherson, 61st Annual Institute Proceedings (2015)

Canadian law places few restrictions on oil and gas exports; however, hurdles to the construction of required export infrastructure present challenges to sustaining historical levels of exports. This chapter discusses the legal context for Canada’s energy exports, and the landscape for new energy exports from Canada, with a focus on recent legislative and regulatory developments related to new export pipelines, rail transport of crude oil, and the nascent liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry on Canada’s Pacific coast.
Canada is a net exporter of energy. Twelve of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories are active in the oil and gas industry. Canada is the fifth largest crude oil and natural gas producer in the world, and the fourth largest exporter of crude oil and natural gas. In 2013, 97% of Canada’s crude oil exports were to the United States, representing approximately 33% of total U.S. crude oil imports. In that same year, all of Canada’s natural gas exports were to the United States, representing approximately 97% of U.S. imports.
Increased supply and production south of the border has led to a decline in natural gas exports to the United States. Access to new markets for Canadian natural gas is a priority. While it is anticipated that the United States, as Canada’s primary crude oil customer, will continue to require Canadian supply despite the growing U.S. do