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WASHINGTON, DC -U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today met with Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn and Mexican Secretary of Energy Fernando Canales Clariond to discuss further integration of North American energy markets. The energy leaders addressed energy security and prosperity through investments in science and technology research, enhanced natural gas markets, and the expanded use of alternative energy sources among the three countries.

"Canada and Mexico are the top energy suppliers to the U.S. accounting for 30% of U.S. crude oil imports. Our nations have a long tradition of close cooperation that provides a base for economic and energy security," Secretary Bodman said. "Today we built on this strong relationship during our meetings and we will continue to do so in pursuing our renewed agenda."

The energy ministers acknowledged that traditional sources of energy will continue as a significant part of the region's energy mix in the near and medium-term and discussed the importance of commercializing clean energy technologies and diversifying our energy supplies for significant energy gains. The ministers discussed improving transparency and regulatory harmonization among the countries, strengthening energy efficiency standards, and developing and deploying alternative energy sources such as biofuels, clean coal, hydrogen and gas hydrates. The energy leaders also highlighted the importance of finalizing a legal framework for intellectual property protection to promote the exchange of funds necessary to ensure research and development collaboration.

Today's trilateral meetings of the North American Energy Working Group (NAEWG) implement the energy security initiative established by Presidents George W. Bush and Vicente Fox and Prime Minster Stephen Harper during their Cancun meeting of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) on March 30-31, 2006. The NAEWG's ongoing work has put particular emphasis on the importance of open, efficient and transparent markets through regulatory cooperation and energy information exchange that support market transparency. The NAEWG, formed in 2001 by the three leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada, is led by the energy ministers of each country and has been successful in fostering cooperation through integration of markets and resolution of energy issues.

Canada is the top supplier of imported crude oil and petroleum products to the United States, accounting for more than 16 percent of total imported crude. Canada's oil sands industry and its reserves of 175 billion barrels make Canada second only to Saudi Arabia in proven reserves. Canada is also the top supplier of imported natural gas to the United States, supplying more than 15 percent of U.S. gas requirements and nearly all imported electricity.

Mexico is the second largest supplier of crude oil and petroleum products to the United States, providing the United States with 1.5 million barrels per day, or 13 percent of total US crude imports. Mexico ranks ninth in the world for proven oil reserves, with 15.7 billion barrels. Mexico has the potential to grow as a natural gas exporter because of its sizeable reserves and as a future liquefied natural gas exporter as new liquefaction facilities under construction come on line.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940