Saturday, October 15, 2005

Canada to Increase Oil Exports to China, Minister McCallum Says

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Canada, the biggest supplier of oil to the U.S., may export as many as 450,000 barrels of oil a day to China within six years, Canadian Energy Minister John McCallum said.

China is interested in making ``substantial investments leading to substantial exports'' in Canada's oil sands, McCallum told reporters in a conference call from China where he spoke with China's resource minister and attended a conference of Group of 20 finance ministers.

Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin has said the nation may seek new customers for its oil after the U.S. ignored a North American Free Trade Act ruling ordering it to change duties on softwood lumber. Alberta's oil sands, where crude-encrusted sand is strip-mined or flushed out of wells, hold the biggest oil reserves outside of Saudi Arabia.

``We are moving forward with great vigor to make this strategic partnership a reality,'' McCallum said when asked if the Nafta dispute has a bearing on the nation's overtures to China. ``Canada is entirely serious about using every means at our disposal'' to make sure the U.S. respects Nafta.

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