CALGARY, Alta. - Steve Wuori, in the keynote speech on May 18 at Calgary Economic Development’s 2011 Report to the Community, said Canada has one market, one customer, which is the United States.
The reliance on the United States as its main market is facing challenges, added Wuori. United States demand peaked between 2005 and 2007 and has been declining since. There is also rising domestic production in the United States. Also there is a drive to convert the American heavy truck fleet to natural gas. Other challenges include a growing opposition to the oilsands and a growing production of ethanol south of the border.
Enbridge has proposed its Northern Gateway project between Edmonton and Kitimat - a $5.5 billion, two parallel pipeline project of 1,900 kilometers - which would diversify the market to include Asia and the Pacific Rim markets.
Wuori said the project would be a "game-changer" for Canada because of the unlocking of various new markets - leading to a $2-3 per barrel increase in the price paid for its oiloil, a $270-billion increase in national GDP over 30 years, 63,000 person years of employment during construction, $4.3 billion in labor-related costs and income for people, and about 1,150 long-term jobs once Northern Gateway is in operation.