Kenney: Canada is 'the safest and most reliable source of energy on earth'
Jason Kenney is pitching Wall Street on Canadian oil and as far as he’s concerned, the timing couldn’t be better as investors grapple with the re-awakening of geopolitical risk after a devastating weekend attack on Saudi Aramco facilities that knocked out five per cent of global output and drove up oil prices Monday.
“Saudi Arabia is surrounded by Yemen, and a huge civil war; Iran – a belligerent enemy of Saudi Arabia; and Iraq: this is not a friendly neighbourhood. We’ve always known this in geopolitics, that Gulf-based oil has a security premium that’s going up as we speak in markets today. There is no security premium for Alberta energy. We have the safest and most reliable source of energy on the face of the planet and for Americans, that is a great benefit,” he told BNN Bloomberg in a broadcast interview.
“This trip is just part of a bigger strategy that our government is launching to restore confidence in our energy sector,” Kenney added.
The premier of Alberta was in New York Monday to begin three days of meetings with investors and business leaders in an effort to rebuild faith in the oil patch after a bruising stretch for investors.
The TSX Energy Index has plunged nearly 40 per cent over the past five years to be the second worst-performing subgroup of the broader index.
Canada’s inability to get new pipelines built, a global shift to renewable energy and chronically low oil prices have taken a severe toll on energy firms and left many investors wary of jumping back into the sector.
But Kenney still believes Canadian energy stocks are attractive.
“One of the things I’m going to say to the investors in New York here is that energy shares in Canada are massively undervalued – objectively,” he said.
“It should be seen as a buying opportunity and that should be even clearer in light of the security premium that people have to pay to access Middle Eastern oil given what happened [in Saudi Arabia],” Kenney added. “And by the way – the strike against the refineries in Saudi is not the end of the story. It points to a deeper problem in terms of instability and unpredictability from the OPEC countries and so I hope investors will realize safety, stability, security in Canada is worth an awful lot.”
However, Kenney said his government won’t put taxpayers’ money where his mouth is – preferring to focus on creating the right economic conditions to attract business investment rather than investing directly in some of the sector’s beaten-up stocks.
“We’re not keen on getting into the business of picking winners and losers.”