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  • “Poland supports the idea of Europe buying oil and gas from Canada,” Poland’s Ambassador in Canada Marcin Bosacki told The Canadian Press in an interview published on Wednesday.


    According to Bosacki, Russia’s invasion of Crimea has increased the attractiveness of Canadian oil and gas in the eyes of European countries. The interview was published on the eve of the visit of Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird to Poland. This week, Baird is attending a number of meetings in Central and Eastern European countries.


    After last week’s meeting between ambassadors of Central European countries and Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Bosacki talked to PAP about “the very broad convergence of views and the need for a rapid and coordinated response of the Western world to the crisis in Ukraine.”


    The Canadian media recall that Canada tries to increase its oil and gas exports. Harper discussed the possibilities of selling oil and gas to Europe with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in March. The problem, however, is the lack of infrastructure. In the context of Marcin Bosacki’s comments, the Canadian media refer to an article by Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk published on Tuesday in the Financial Times. In the article, Donald Tusk lays out his vision for an EU energy union, citing the EU’s joint purchasing of uranium.


    For Canadians, the possibility to export oil and gas to Europe could be a solution to the deadlock over plans to increase crude exports to the United States and Asia. The construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that is essential to Canada’s exports southwards is delayed because of serious environmental concerns. Another week-long KXL protest has begun on Tuesday in Washington D.C. Although Barack Obama’s administration has decided to delay the pipeline decision for the months ahead, the pipeline opponents from Alberta up to Texas are not giving up.


    Another plan concerning exports of oil extracted from tar sands deposits in Alberta, i.e. the construction of Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, British Columbia, and the transport of oil to Asia, has also ran up against difficulties. Indian communities who own the land through which the pipeline will run have long voiced their strong protests. A few days ago, the inhabitants of Kitimat in a referendum – even though it was not binding – by a majority of around 60 percent of votes rejected the pipeline project. On Tuesday, the Kitimat councilmen also officially said “no” to the pipeline in a vote. The federal government is scheduled to take a decision on the construction of the Northern Gateway project this June.

  reports that Canadian crude accounts for as little as 0.03 percent of the European fuel supply. As a matter of fact, it has many opponents in Europe, since it is extracted from tar sands that are said to have the most damaging consequences for the environment. Nevertheless, reported in February that the EU might amend its legislation so that Canadian-origin crude can meet EU environmental criteria.


    As Reuters reported at the beginning of April, Canada’s Enbridge has confirmed that its American subsidiary Tidal Energy Marketing received a U.S. government license to export Canadian-origin crude to Europe via the United States. The first cargoes are expected to set sail this April. Reuters added that last year, the American Department of Commerce granted licenses to re-export oil to the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany; these are the first permits to ship oil to Europe since 2008.


    Toronto, Anna Lach (PAP)


    Source: PAP

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