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Power cables connecting P.E.I. to the mainland are a priority for Energy Minister Wes Sheridan. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

Federal and provincial energy ministers wrapped up two and a half days of discussions in Charlottetown, P.E.I. on Tuesday about expanding the country's oil and gas industries.

The group agreed to collaborate on key energy priorities and talked about $600 billion worth of energy-related projects.

Third power cable a priority for P.E.I.

On Tuesday Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver met with Wes Sheridan, the host province’s finance and energy minister, to discuss a third interconnection power cable to the mainland.

The P.E.I. government has been lobbying Ottawa for financial assistance to build a third cable to the mainland, at an estimated cost of $90 million.

The existing cables are 34 years old, and have an expected lifespan of 40 to 50 years.

Sheridan will release a report at the end of the month about whether Maritime Electric, the cable operator, should be owned by the province.

East-west pipeline discussed

Other discussions focused around an east-west pipeline. The eastern provinces are pushing for Western oil to be piped to the region and refined in Quebec and the Maritimes.

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Federal ministers met with provincial energy ministers from across Atlantic Canada to discuss the results of studies aimed at enabling co-operation between various levels of government and utilities. (CBC)

 

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. said it would like to see oil flowing west-to-east as early as 2014, but it has to get regulatory approval first.

Earlier in the day about 50 people from environmental groups, labour unions and the Council of Canadians staged a silent march in protest of oil and gas development and called for a moratorium on oil exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Regional co-operation a focus of energy meeting

On Monday the federal minister met with provincial energy ministers from across Atlantic Canada to discuss the results of studies undertaken under the Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative.

The AEG initiative is aimed at enabling co-operation between the government and utilities to find a better approach to lower energy costs within Atlantic Canada and to export power to the U.S.

The provinces said by collaborating on energy procurement and management, they could save hundreds of millions of dollars.

Oliver said Canada could become an energy powerhouse in the world, but it would need new markets in Asia to compete with the United States.