The Canadian government has an environmental record and the oil reserves on hand to be a world-class leader, the natural resources minister said in Paris.
Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told a bilateral chamber of commerce in Paris that Canada could be a safe and stable source of energy for France and other European countries.
"Canada's oil sands are a major global resource -- a resource that will make an increasingly strategic contribution to energy security and economic stability," he said in a statement.
The Canadian government has courted Asian and other investors to diversify an oil export market that relies almost exclusively on the United States. Pipeline plans are being considered for east and west coast hubs.
Critics of Canadian crude oil, dubbed oil sands, say its corrosive, making pipeline transportation difficult. Its production is said to be more carbon intensive than other types of crude oil.
Oliver said oil sands produces greenhouse gas emissions on par with other crudes, including those consumed currently in the European Union.
"Our government has a plan for responsible resources development that creates jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity while protecting the environment," he said.
The Canadian government aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent of their 2005 levels by 2020 and is halfway there.