EU can't block oil sands, Canada says

Dec. 29, 2010 at 8:22 AM

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Canadian officials in the western province of Alberta said they won't let the European Union get in the way of exporting oil sands.

Oil sands in the Athabasca region of Canada are among the world's richest deposits, though environmental groups complain exploiting the unconventional plays are wreaking havoc on the environment.

A draft measure introduced in the European Union in 2009 would have curbed imports from fuel sources like Alberta oil sands in an effort to encourage green energy alternatives.

Diana McQueen, an assistant in the provincial energy ministry, told the Platts news service that oil sands in the region can't be singled out in bilateral trade measures.

"We will make sure oil sands products are not wrongly targeted by them (EU) under the proposed low-carbon fuels standard and emission legislation and will oppose any discrimination against our extra-heavy crude oil," she said.

She claimed that new technology used to extract gas from the region reduced carbon emissions by as much as 33 percent per barrel of oil.

"The EU will delay adopting a final decision until late 2011," she said. "Although we do not export crude oil currently to any European state, we will still not allow them to put a wrong label on us."

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