Energy Secretary Bodman tours oil sands, meets with officials, industry leaders
July 18, 2006
In a July 6 White House meeting, President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed the importance of Canada's oil sands in ensuring North American energy security and pledged to take a forward looking approach to energy issues.
As part of this effort, Bodman toured the oil sands in Alberta with Canadian Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, and Alberta Energy Minister Greg Melchin during his two-day visit that ended July 14.
"I was very pleased to see first-hand the magnitude of the oil sands development," he said.
Current oil sands production is more than 1 million barrels per day, and is expected to double by 2010 and reach 3 million barrels per day by 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. By 2015, approximately three of every four barrels of Canadian oil is expected to come from the oil sands and by 2020, more than $100 billion will have been invested in oil sands development. With 175 billion barrels of proven oil sands reserves, Canada ranks second only to Saudi Arabia in global oil reserves.
Oil sands are deposits of bitumen, a molasses-like viscous oil that will not flow unless heated or diluted with lighter hydrocarbons.
Bodman encouraged the development of oil sands and other unconventional oil resources. He also advocated increasing North America's natural gas supply and met with government officials and energy industry leaders to discuss sustainable energy resource development.
Canada currently accounts for more than 16 percent of total crude oil and petroleum products imported by the United States, and 16 percent of U.S. gas requirements. Canada also supplies electricity to more than 30 U.S. states. During his visit, Bodman expressed the United States' interest in increasing this already important energy relationship with Canada.
"Canada remains an important ally to the United States as well as our largest trading partner and most important and reliable supplier of oil and gas," he said. "We look forward to continuing to develop our mutually beneficial relationship."
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