Backing energy policies that single out oil sands would have a devastating effect on the health of the global energy sector, a Canadian official said in Kuwait.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said at an international energy conference in Kuwait that Canada was on pace to become an energy superpower.
Canada has some of the richest oil deposits in the world in its so-called tar sands oil fields in Alberta. Gaetan Caron, chairman and chief executive officer at Canada's National Energy Board, told members of the Alberta Chamber of Resources that oil and natural gas supplies could reach record levels in the next 25 years.
The European Union is expected to make a decision by June on whether crude oil from tar sands fields in Canada is worse for the environment than conventional crude.
Oliver said targeting Alberta crude was misguided policy given the state of the world economy.
"Any policies that discriminate against oil sands will impede the free flow of global oil supplies and are detrimental to overall energy security," he said.
Canada has threatened to take the issue to the World Trade Organization.