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Canada plans to increase oil and gas exports by up to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to help replace Russian supplies for its allied nations.

The announcement by Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson follows requests from European countries that are looking to reduce their dependence on Russian energy, in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

By the end of this year, Canada has the capacity to boost exports of natural gas by up to 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), and oil exports by up to 200,000bpd.

Wilkinson said: “Our European friends and allies need Canada and others to step up. They’re telling us they need our help in getting off Russian oil and gas in the short term while speeding up the energy transition across the continent.

“We will continue working with our international partners to support international energy markets and accelerate the energy transition.”

Canada currently exports approximately 4Mbpd of oil to the US. Of this, a small share is re-exported overseas, according to Reuters.

The Canadian government is being urged by environmental activists to focus on cleaner sources for replacing Russian energy.

Greenpeace Canada senior energy strategist Keith Stewart said: “The only real solution to oil-fueled aggression, against people and the climate, is to accelerate the transition off fossil fuels by investing in renewable energy and efficiency.”

In a separate announcement, US President Joe Biden pledged to deliver at least 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) more of LNG in this year to European nations, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

One of the sources said that the deal would include a higher LNG supply from the US to the European Union in 2023.