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N.L. oil could ease European energy woes: Furey

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.

The Lead

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey says oil from his province could help countries transition away from Russian fossil fuels.

“We have the product the world needs now more than ever before,” Furey said.

Furey and others have pointed to the proposed Bay du Nord project, located about 500 kilometres off the coast of St. John’s, which is expected to hold around 800-million barrels of recoverable oil. The federal government announced it was delaying making a decision on Bay du Nord for 40 days.

However, despite Furey’s optimism, experts warn it’s not that simple.

Though there may be immediate demand, there’s no way to quickly boost oil production at Newfoundland’s offshore oilfields to meet it, they say. And ultimately, Bay du Nord, or other projects, must still reckon with climate change and its effects on the global markets.

“There are environmental costs, which can be quite high,” Doug May, an economics professor at Memorial University, said Tuesday in an interview. “So how do you balance one against the other, and whose well-being are we really concerned with?” The Canadian Press has more from Newfoundland.

Internationally

The Biden administration is exploring ways to boost U.S. liquefied natural gas exports and cut Europe’s reliance on Russian gas, but sources close to the matter say these discussions are proceeding slowly because of concerns about the impact on climate change. Reuters has that story.

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which includes 12 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., BP and Saudi Aramco, is expected to launch a new fund of over $1 billion to invest in new technologies focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. Reuters also has that story.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal suggests climate change is causing significant change’s to the size, habits and morphology of European birds. The Guardian has more on the study’s findings.

Meanwhile, new data determined that opinions on climate change are the biggest “dealbreaker” out of several topics when it comes to finding a match on the popular dating app OKCupid.

“We have just seen over time, climate change being more and more this huge topic for our millennials daters especially,” said Jane Reynolds, director of product marketing at OKCupid. The Hill has the full story.

On Friday morning at 8:35 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$106.23 and Brent Crude was going for US$109.24.

In Canada

Former Quebec premier Jean Charest launched his campaign to lead the Conservative Party of Canada on Thursday, where he voiced his willingness to see a new pipeline built.

“I’ve always been in favour of having pipeline infrastructure,” said Charest. CBC News has more.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province’s decision to temporarily halt the provincial gas tax is a “backdoor way” to scrapping the federal carbon tax in the province.

“I’ll go out on a limb here and say that the economists that you were talking to as the arbiters of truth on this are probably really big carbon tax fans. I’m not. I’m a big carbon tax enemy, as are most Albertans,” Kenney said. Global News has more from Alberta.

In B.C., conservationists and First Nations are criticizing the rollout of the province’s old-growth protection strategy for being too slow.

“Premier John Horgan has set some nice intentions for old-growth forests, but done very little to actually limit logging of the most endangered stands,” said Torrance Coste, national campaign director for the Wilderness Committee. CBC News also has that story.

Finally, climate change helped make 2021 one of the warmest years on record in the Maritimes. CBC News has the details.

Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$90.45 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$91.92 this morning at 8:35 a.m.

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