CALGARY, Alberta, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Canada needs to respond to increasing oil and natural gas production in the United States with diversity, the natural resources minister said.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver returned home from a visit to the United States this week to tout diversity for the Canadian energy sector.
"Canada must diversify its energy markets, since virtually all of our oil and gas exports go to the United States, whose recent discoveries mean it will need Canadian resources less in the future," he said at an energy summit Wednesday in Calgary.
New drilling technologies have led to oil and natural gas production increases in the United States. U.S. energy imports are at historic lows as a result.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has tried to reach energy-hungry Asian economies by pressing for more export infrastructure.
The Globe and Mail reported the Canadian economy has retracted. Oil and natural gas extraction has slowed but the report blamed much of the slowdown on heavy summer flooding in oil-rich Alberta province.
Parts of Alberta were under a state of emergency in June because of a 100-year flood event, which closed most of downtown Calgary for several days.