In a speech to the Economic Club's Canadian Energy Summit in Calgary on Friday, Prentice said the province needs to remember that hydrocarbons are only valuable when there are competing customers — and if there are multiple ways to ship the resource.
"For a period of time we lived comfortably in a world of insatiable American demand for Canada's energy products," said Prentice. "Along the way we forgot some simple truths. We forgot that hydrocarbons are only valuable if there is someone willing to pay for them and moreover, someone who has the ability to receive them."
Prentice said his goal is to have pipelines in every possible direction and that he wants to work with Ontario and Quebec in the coming weeks to get those provinces on board with his push to get Alberta oil to market.
There are still a number of other ways to get Alberta oil to market and Prentice says they are considering those as well.
"One of the alternatives that has been discussed and is said to be technically feasible is exporting Alberta's crude via existing port facilities in Alaska," he said. "Whether that's economically feasible or not remains to be determined."
Prentice said there are a number of private sector companies interested in pursing that option right now.
He also restated his commitment to have Alberta become an environmental leader.