Canada’s importance in the global energy space is diminishing, according to the head of its national producers’ association.
Citing production projections that have steadily declined since 2013, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers President and CEO Tim McMillan said lack of investment and lack of growth is putting Canadian energy behind other global players.
“We still have a growth profile but the investments have slown down, the growth has slown down and Canada’s importance in a global energy world is diminishing,” McMillan told BNN in an interview on Tuesday.
His comments come just one day after Sprott Asset Management Portfolio Manager Eric Nuttall said his firm has largely taken its capital out of Canada.
“There’s such profound sentiment headwinds as a result of both provincial and federal government [measures,]” Nuttall told BNN on Monday. “Whether its carbon taxes, royalty regime changes and pipeline takeaway issues: we don’t get that in the U.S., we get the same commodity exposure, with equally good fundamentals without all that noise.”
McMillan says the opportunity to become a ‘supplier of choice’ hasn’t passed Canada by, but getting to that level will require cooperation on several fronts.
“We have an opportunity here to be a supplier of choice around the world, but it is going to take both industry and government showing a lot of leadership to streamline our processes, to lower timelines, and still maintain our high environmental standards,” he told BNN. “But, I think we can do better and I think that it’s not something we can do passively, we have to be very deliberate we need to very focused on it and look at: Where do we want to be in five and 10 years? We have to start today.”
McMillan said it’s not only the regulatory differences between Canada and the U.S., but between different provinces within Canada that is holding up investment in Canadian energy. He added that these concerns need to be addressed, since they come from a variety of sources.
“What we’re hearing is pretty consistent that Canada is slower to approve projects, that it’s more challenging, that some of the rules that seem transparent aren’t as transparent as they seem once investments are made,” he said. “I think that we need to be very thoughtful and conscious of what we’re hearing because it’s consistent around many different sources.”