Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Fun Facts: Canadian Oil

Being something of a geezer, I can remember a time when you could watch the news or look at the front page of a newspaper and there would be no mention of oil. Not a single utterance of the word, unless you were at the gas station having your oil checked while filling up your car. Come to think of it, it wasn't that long ago when I could watch TV without being bombarded with ads for banks, investment services, retirement funds, and the like. (I recall when these first started showing up thinking to myself, "what the fuck are they selling, and to whom?" What did I know, eh?). But I digress!

I was thinking about oil this evening and found myself at the CIA's World Factbook site (an excellent resource site, in case you're not familiar with it). I was curious about world rankings for oil production, reserves, imports/exports, etc., and was mildly surprised about some of the numbers for Canada.

With over 178 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Canada is second in the world only to Saudi Arabia (264 billion). Canada is seventh in the world when it comes to oil production (over 3 million barrels a day). Canada is also seventh in oil exports (over 2 million barrels a day). (The lower rankings in production and exports are, I believe, largely explained by this.)

Now things get a little weird (well, it seems weird to me). Canada also imports over a million barrels of oil each day. Now I suppose that someone a bit more up on their economics and what not could offer up a number of reasons for this (transportation costs, effects of a global economy, the Tooth Fairy, whatever). Personally, I don't care what the reasons are. This is plain stupid.

Speaking of stupid, wouldn't it make more sense for the American government to be kissing some good old English-speaking Canadian ass in return for oil? We're a humble folk. A little peck would do, and we'd probably give them a fair price. Of course the Americans are a proud people and they might feel a sense of shame at kissing ass so close to home. If that's the case, though, one wonders why Bush and company didn't just invade Canada. It's a lot closer, it would have been a lot cheaper, and certainly it wouldn't have been nearly so messy. Hell, Canadians like Americans, and we're always only too happy to humor our friends (and share a joke with them...). Me casa su casa, eh?


  1. As far as ubiquitous advertising, there are now gas stations in the States with television monitors on the pumps that blink on when you start pumping and harass you.

    Does oil reserves refer to tar sands? At the present time, there is more energy expended to extract the petroleum than is obtained by that petroleum's use. This may be wishful thinking equivalent to carbon trapping.

  2. Artsparker,
    Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
    Ads at the pumps? Talk about piling indignity on top of indignity!
    Yes, the reserves include the tar sands, which have been producing oil at a profit for a few years now. The technology to extract the oil gets cheaper and more efficient every year. Unfortunately, for now at least, there seems to be a pretty high environmental price tag...

  3. I'd guess that the reason Canada imports (some) oil is that it's cheaper, especially in the short-term sense, to do so rather than extract the same amount domestically.

    I'd also guess that this is why the US does not import more oil from Canada -- again, over the short term, it's cheaper to buy it elsewhere. Or at least was, when futures contracts were drawn up.

    As for invading, I give it it three more Muslims crossing the border before Cheney floats the trial balloon.

  4. Brendan,
    Actually I think the Canadian government has issued a travel advisory to Muslim citizens planning trips to/through the US.
    As for the oil, bleh...