The coronavirus pandemic has slashed oil demand as countries shut down much of their economies, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has also flooded the world with additional oil in a dispute with Russia.
Alberta’s energy minister was taking part in Thursday’s negotiations among OPEC and other oil-producing countries about curbing bloated global supplies.
“We have not been asked to constrain Alberta energy output,” Premier Jason Kenney told reporters. “The main concern in OPEC+ is that North American producers not surge production to occupy the space created by their own curtailment, should they do it.”
OPEC and it allies held talks on record output curbs of 15 million to 20 million barrels per day (bpd), or 15% to 20% of global supplies.
Canada is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, extracting some 4.9 million barrels in February.
Kenney said he “desperately hopes” the global talks produce meaningful cuts, saying that North American storage tanks will be full in four to six weeks based on current trends.
If not, Kenney said Washington and Ottawa have appeared receptive to the idea of imposing North America tariffs on imported oil.
Alberta’s government has imposed limits on oil production since January 2019, due to pipeline constraints.
In the past month, Canadian oil producers have curtailed another 325,000 bpd, among the most in the world, according to consultancy Rystad Energy.
Analysts predict Canadian cuts could reach as much as 1.7 million bpd if low prices persist.