CALGARY, Alberta, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Canada is in a strategic position to serve as one of the foremost natural gas suppliers in the world, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said.
Oliver delivered the keynote address at a liquefied natural gas forum Thursday in Calgary. He said natural gas provides an opportunity to add diversity to the Canadian energy sector.
"As the world's fifth-largest natural gas producer, Canada is also well-positioned to take advantage of the enormous opportunity to supply international markets," he said in his remarks.
All of the country's natural gas exports head to the United States. Oliver said the exponential increase in U.S. natural gas production means the Canadian economy needs to look for new trading partners.
The Canadian government aims to deliver more natural resources to Asian countries to diversify an economy dependent on the United States. Several LNG export projects are planned for the West Coast of Canada.
"We must reach new markets in countries that urgently need energy to generate revenue for critical Canadian social programs like health and education," Oliver said.
The Conference Board of Canada said natural gas production should add at least $565 billion to the economy between 2012 and 2035.