EU approves tar sand oil import

Joseph Millis
THE EXPORT of “dirty oil” tar sand crude to Europe has been approved after the EU abandoned attempts to have it barred following lobbying by major exporter Canada.

A proposal published by the European Commission yesterday removed what could have been an EU obstacle to shipments of the crude. The proposal comes at a time when tensions between the EU and its top oil supplier, Russia, are running high.

EU sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the geopolitical situation had been a factor in removing the “dirty oil” tag.

Canada and the EU have been working on a trade deal for several years. EU officials have said a final pact is expected to be signed next year and become effective in 2016.

The commission had been lobbied heavily by Canada and its allies such as Britain. Canada sees Europe as a potential market for rising production from the tar sands of northern Alberta, the world’s third-largest crude reserve.