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Canada steps up energy diversification rhetoric

Aug. 28, 2013 at 8:35 AM

YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Canadian ministers said they'd work across multiple government levels to review shale oil and gas with the aim of diversifying the national economy.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver met with David Ramsay, Oliver's counterpart from the Northwest Territories, to discuss "critical work" needed to enhance Canada's position as a global energy leader.

Canada aims to get more of its crude oil to international markets. The federal government is behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline planned for the United States, though Oliver said work was needed to court international partners.

"We must work collaboratively to put in place the conditions necessary for Canada to diversify its markets, particularly the construction of infrastructure," he said Tuesday.

The government is lobbying for oil pipelines for the eastern coast. Liquefied natural gas terminals are planned for western ports with the aim of reaching energy-hungry Asian economies.

The Canadian Department of Natural Resources said federal, provincial and territorial ministers agreed natural reserves are a central pillar of the Canadian economy.

"The ministers reviewed the significant regulatory and public engagement efforts undertaken by the provincial, territorial and federal governments, in addition to research on the resource base and environmental impacts related to shale oil and gas," the department said.

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