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Alberta oil can be a solution to U.S. energy supply crunch - minister

The expansion of the Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain oil pipeline advances in Acheson

By Arathy Somasekhar

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Alberta, Canada's main oil-producing region, can help alleviate the global oil supply crunch caused by energy disruptions, Alberta energy minister, Sonya Savage, said on Sunday.

Alberta has some spare pipeline and rail capacity and can move more oil to the United States, Savage said in Houston ahead of the CERAWeek energy conference by S&P Global. Oil prices in Monday trading in Asia have soared to $128 per barrel, up from about $83 per barrel in January.

"We are the solution, not Venezuela and others," Savage told Reuters, an apparent reference to U.S. sending a delegation to Caracas last week to discuss an easing of U.S. oil sanctions.

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She also said it was "unconscionable" for any nation to be buying Russian crude oil or refined products in light of its invasion of Ukraine.

Oil buyers have been shunning oil cargoes from Russia, one of the world's largest petroleum exporters. Russia exports 4-5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 2-3 million bpd of refined products.

Savage said the United States should ban imports of Russian crude oil and refined products.

Canada last week banned Russian crude oil imports and agreed to supply anti-tank weapons to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation".

(Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar and Marcy De Luna in Houston; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kenneth Maxwell)