The world prefers Canada’s oil, suggests a new study from market researcher Ipsos.
The country placed most often in the top three best places from which to import oil out of eight crude-producing jurisdictions, according to the Ipsos study, which surveyed 24,014 people from 28 countries. Globally, Canada was chosen most often, at 55 per cent of responses, followed by Norway and the United States, which garnered 53 per cent and 52 per cent of the votes, respectively.
The Middle East and Mexico came in fourth and fifth place at 40 per cent and 32 per cent of responses. Rounding out the bottom were Venezuela, Russia and China, which were chosen 29 per cent, 26 per cent and 21 per cent of the time.
On a regional basis, Canada also made a strong showing. For example, North Americans appear bullish on Canadian oil, and 71 per cent chose the country as one of their top suppliers. In Europe, Canada made the top three 60 per cent of the time, while the U.S. came in at 53 per cent. Only Norway ranked better in Europe, clinching the top spot after being selected as a preferred supplier 71 per cent of the time. But Canadian oil also placed well in the Asia-Pacific region, where 58 per cent of people picked Canada as among their preferred energy suppliers.
Canada’s high ranking is evidence of the country’s strong democratic values, Ipsos said. Respondents often chose the country closest to them as the best place to get oil, but shared morals were also a major consideration, and that helped Canada move up the ranks. For example, based solely on values such as democracy, Canada was chosen second 23 per cent of the time as a top oil supplier. That was more than any other country, including the United States.
Ipsos said geopolitical instability has also made people more aware of where their energy is coming from, and many want to know that their oil is being bought from a country with shared values. Indeed, 52 per cent of people globally think oil and gas should be imported solely from countries with strong democracies, such as Canada and the United States, rather than from authoritarian regimes such as Russia and Saudi Arabia. Europeans were most likely to hold that view, followed by North Americans.
Meanwhile, Canada’s efforts to reduce emissions in its fossil fuels industry could also play a factor in importer preferences. Even as countries move to transition away from oil and gas, the study found that people think fossil fuels can continue to be part of the energy mix, provided emissions are addressed. Forty-six per cent of people globally said oil and gas could be part of the green transition if emissions are lowered. The number in favour of continued use of fossil fuels increased to 59 per cent if emissions are reduced through carbon capture and storage technology.
“The study reveals that in times of energy insecurity and transition, global citizens recognize oil is still needed,” Ipsos said. “Those who do import oil want to get it from Canadian producers.”
The Pathways Alliance, a group of six Canadian oilsands companies, pointed to the Ipsos study as evidence that Canadian oil and gas is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and that the country can play a major role in bringing energy to the world, especially as the industry moves to reduce emissions.
“This reinforces that North American energy is desired worldwide, and if we work together and with governments to advance our climate goals, we can increase global market share of responsibly produced energy — something that is good for the climate as well as jobs and economic growth on both sides of the border,” Kendall Dilling, president of Pathways Alliance, said in a news release.
Members of the alliance have invested more than $10 billion on research and development between 2012 and 2021, the group said. They are further planning to invest another $24 billion as part of a plan to reduce emissions by 22 million tonnes a year, and also get to net-zero operational emissions, by 2030. The group has earmarked $16.5 billion for a carbon capture and storage network in Alberta, which it says will be one of the world’s largest when completed. The leftover $7.6 billion will go to support emissions lowering projects, it said.