Suncor CEO warns Canada must remain open for business
Suncor Energy CEO Steve Williams warned that Canada must remain open for business and should not destroy competitiveness in its efforts to combat climate change. During a speech at the Toronto Global Forum, Williams called Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and the federal government "brave" for moving forward on climate change, noting that Canada is no longer a "black sheep" on the world stage.
The CEO calls the increasingly polarized debate over climate change a red flag for his company. Many countries, particularly the US, have successfully expanded domestic oil production and built thousands of miles of new pipelines while maintaining claims to be climate change leaders.
Williams says Suncor can operate “successfully” with West Texas prices between US$35 and $40 a barrel. The CEO also warned that oil prices are likely to remain volatile over the next few years, although he does expect prices to rise in 2017.
Bond ratings agency DBRS also warned this week that Canada may get downgraded if new pipelines to tidewater are not built in the near future.
Canadian oil production is expected to reach 5.5 million by 2030 but US reliance on Canadian oil may not keep pace due to increased production out of the US, Mexico, Venezuela and South America. DBRS would like to see Canada increase its exports to China and India, where oil consumption is still growing.
Williams thinks fossil-fuels will be required well into the next century. G7 nations have committed to being "fossil-fuel free" by 2100. It is unclear if that includes plastics, chemicals, polyester, paint, asphalt and personal care products derived from petroleum products.