Blocking Canadian Oil - The New Cold War

From MNP, Oilfeild Service News June 24, 2014

By: David Yager, National Leader, Oilfield Services

Russia Secretly Funding Anti-Frac Movement? 


It’s right out of a James Bond movie. A news story in the June 20 Financial Post was titled, “Russia in secret plot against fracking, warns NATO chief”. NATO. North Atlantic Treaty Organization. You know, the quasi-military alliance of western powers formed to protect Europe from a Russian invasion. NATO secretary general Andres Rasmussen was quoted as saying, “I have met with allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain Europe on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation”. 

The idea that other producing jurisdictions are exploiting Canada’s open and transparent society to lobby against growing our oil and gas production is not new. It has been rumored for years that some of the opposition to oilsands development has been secretly funded from the Middle East, particularly Qatar. No proof exists. After scouring through U.S. and Canadian tax returns, researcher Vivian Krause has written many articles in the Financial Post about where Canadian environmental opponents of Northern Gateway get their funding. She links this to major U.S. foundations like Pew and Rockefeller that, paradoxically, got their fortunes from the oil industry (Sun Oil and Standard Oil respectively). Others have written that aboriginal opposition to offshore export pipelines and shale gas development in New Brunswick has been funded outside of Canada. 

The motives on oilsands and Northern Gateway are clear. International producers want stop the oilsands because growing production suppresses the world price and shrinks the North American import market. American interests apparently don’t want to see Canada develop international export markets because they like depressed North American prices and they like the idea of Canada’s oilsands only being available to U.S. consumers, if and when and it is required.

Gas is a different story. The recent political turmoil in Ukraine has highlighted the fact that Europe gets about 1/3 of its gas from Russia. Prices are about three times higher than in North America where fracking for shale gas has collapsed the price. While many oil companies have wanted to develop shale gas in various European countries, the anti-fracking movement seems to have come out of nowhere and managed to shut down development almost everywhere but England. In that country protests against fracking are routine despite the government being publicly in favor of shale gas production.

Many have written how oil and gas have become economic weapons in the 21st century. Any sort of war is general accompanied by subterfuge of some sort. Is it true? Not sure. Is it patently false? Harder question to answer.

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