Tensions between the two nations are escalating into a diplomatic war, after Canada imposed sanctions on the Arab state in protest of human rights breaches.
But Canada could end up in an oil crisis as it depends on trade with Saudi Arabia – one of its largest sources.
Ottawa imported a total of £12.5 fbillion (CAD$20.9bn) of oil from the Arab state between 2007 and 2017, making Saudi their second biggest oil importer after the US, according to Statistics Canada figures.
Canada brought in around £1.1 billion (CAD$1.8bn) of Saudi oil between January and June this year to the Irving-oil refinery — an oil import facility in Saint John, New Brunswick in Canada — making that a total of almost £6 million (CAD$10m) worth of oil per day.
In contrast, Ottawa only brought in about £2.3 million (CAD$3.8m )worth of oil from the US per day to the facility.
All of the Saudi oil imported into Canada in 2017 and 2018 came through to the Irving Oil-owned Saint John refinery in New Brunswick, where every barrel of oil processed comes in by tanker or train.
Saudi Arabia sends Canada more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day, which could soon be wiped out if their ongoing rivalry leaves an unfavourable trade for both countries.
Canada and Saudi’s dispute comes after Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland criticised Riyadh for arresting a female activist.
In response to the backlash, Saudi’s Crown Prince Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman begin cutting ties with the North American state.
He expelled Canada’s ambassador, froze new trade and investment with Ottawa, suspended an exchange programme and halted all Saudia Arabian Airlines flights to Canada.
He also declared to stop all medical treatment programmes planned to transfer Saudi patients out of the country.
On Wednesday, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister said there would be no new Saudi investment in Canada, but that their existing trade relationship would not be affected by the dispute.
Saudi’s government media office told the Financial Times: “Neither the government nor the central bank or the state pension fund has issued any instructions regarding the sale of Canadian assets.”
Khalid al-Falih, Saudi energy minister said in a statement: “The Saudi government oil policy requires that oil supplies provided by the kingdom to the world are not affected by any political considerations.
«This policy is unchanged and not affected by any political circumstance.»
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told journalists on Wednesday: “We don’t want to have poor relations with Saudi Arabia.
“It is a country that has great significance in the world, that is making progress in the area of human rights.”