Shell Canada is celebrating 100 years in this country. On March 21, 1911, it opened its first office on the corner of St. Catherine and Peel Streets in Montreal. Its principle asset was a diesel refinery (commandeered by the British Admiralty during World War I) on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. As the company turned its attention to western Canada, the company moved its head office to Toronto in the 1930s and to Calgary in 1984. The Shell brand became known for its retail gasoline, diesel, home heating oil and lubricants.
In 1999, Shell announced the formation of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, a joint venture to build the Muskeg River mine and expand its Scotford upgrader near Edmonton. The mine produced its first bitumen in 2002. In just over two years, in 2005, the project achieved 100 million barrels of bitumen production, and it is expanding toward 770,000 b/d.
Now as Shell Canada prepares for the future, president and country chair Lorraine Mitchelmore called for a national approach to energy that would pave the way for Canada's emergence as a global energy superpower.
"Canada's emergence as a global energy superpower hinges on the country's ability to develop a truly national approach to energy, Canada has all the hallmarks of an energy superpower, but we don't have the right strategy to get us there," she said. "Developing that strategy requires collaboration among all stakeholders - energy companies, governments, communities and NGOs. We need to agree on an approach to energy that meets our respective needs and benefits Canada as a whole."
To be a fully-fledged energy superpower Canada needs a national energy strategy that includes fiscal and regulatory measures that promote the country's international competitiveness.
"Key elements of the strategy should be a price on carbon, sustainable and affordable energy with a reduced carbon footprint, and a national rather than a regional approach to our energy market," said Mitchelmore.
Mitchelmore noted that Canada is in a strong position within the global energy hierarchy.
"Along with Norway, we are the most stable, the most reliable and the most democratic of the world's top 10 oil and gas producers. That's a distinct competitive advantage given the current turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East, where five of the other top 10 are located," she said.
"As a deep-rooted Canadian company, we have a vested interest in the future of the country's energy industry and its economy. We also understand both the Canadian and the global energy markets, and as part of the global Shell organization, we have access to technology, knowledge and best practices that we can apply locally to support Canada's effort to succeed globally," said Mitchelmore.
The company's website is at www.Shell.ca.