Canada will look to China to sell its oil

Story highlights

  • Canada's prime minister will travel to China in February
  • The trip comes as Canada looks to diversify its oil exports markets
  • PM Harper is pushing a Canadian pipeline called the Northern Gateway project
  • The project in western Canada would make oil exports to China faster and cheaper

In a phone conversation that came as little surprise, President Barack Obama called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday afternoon to explain why he had rejected the Keystone oil sands pipeline project.

In a statement released by Harper's office, the president is quoted as saying that the decision was not a decision based on the "merits of the project" and that TransCanada, the company looking to build the pipeline, could reapply for permission after a new route had been developed.

The statement went on to say that Prime Minister Harper "...expressed his profound disappointment with the news. He indicated to President Obama that he hoped that this project would continue given the significant contribution it would make to jobs and economic growth both in Canada and the United States of America."

But crucially, the statement also said that the prime minister reiterated to President Obama that Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports.

In fact, in a sign of warming relations, Harper is scheduled to make a high-profile trip to China in February. Canada is proposing to build a pipeline of its own through western Canada that would make oil exports to China faster and cheaper.

White House defends Keystone veto
White House defends Keystone veto


    White House defends Keystone veto


White House defends Keystone veto 02:42
Boehner: Obama's Keystone decision wrong
Boehner: Obama's Keystone decision wrong


    Boehner: Obama's Keystone decision wrong


Boehner: Obama's Keystone decision wrong 01:09

In recent months, Harper has pushed more forcefully for the Northern Gateway pipeline project to get underway, calling it in the country's "national interest" as it works to develop markets other than the United States for its crude oil exports.

The Gateway project, like the Keystone Pipeline proposal, is facing significant protests from environmental and community groups.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.