Hydraulic fracturing: 50 years of success in Saskatchewan

14.02.2012

Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of Energy and Resources, Kent Campbell, wrote an open letter to the StarPhoenix newspaper to convey his vision of oil and gas development in the province. More specifically, the minister explains clearly what hydraulic fracturing is all about, both concerning the procedure and its challenges.

Reading Deputy Minister Kent helps us to better understand this technology. We learn, for example, that Saskatchewan has had a long history of oil and gas development. The deputy minister backs up his comments with the expertise developed in Saskatchewan, enabling him to affirm that, without question, it is possible to ensure that these resources are developed responsibly.

We invite you to read the entire article here, but also wish to draw your attention to the record of this technology in Saskatchewan:

While use of this technology has increased, it has been applied safely in Saskatchewan for more than 50 years on roughly 33,500 oil and gas wells. It is the combined technologies of horizontal drilling and fracking that have unlocked the energy riches of the renowned Bakken in southeast Saskatchewan – a formation that otherwise would have gone largely undeveloped.

Bakken is now recognized as one of the largest remaining conventional oil pools in North America. Technologies such as fracking are important to the future growth and development of Saskatchewan’s oil and gas sector, which currently accounts for about 20 per cent of provincial gross domestic product and provides jobs for more than 32,000 people.

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Fracking has been safely applied in oil and gas operations in Saskatchewan for decades.

The comprehensive regulatory system we have in place ensures that the practice helps us continue to realize significant economic benefits from our oil and gas industry while we maximize environmental protection.

Chrysler to Shift to Natural Gas

03.02.2012

This past November, QOGA wrote twice (here and here) about the move by major car manufacturers toward natural gas. We wanted to inform our readers that several car companies now see natural gas as being part of the transition to more environmentally-friendly motorized transport.

The reason is simple: the use of natural gas in motor vehicles not only offers excellent technical and environmental performance, but is also highly economical.

We invite you to read the following article which appeared in the Quebec media announcing that Chrysler is now offering vehicles with engines that use natural gas.

According to the article, the environmental performance of this technology is very impressive, including a 25 percent reduction in pollution compared to regular gasoline. This is significant when one considers that the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec is cars running on gasoline and diesel.

According to the inventory published on November 4, 2011, by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), the transport sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (43.5%). Next is industry (28%), heating buildings (14%), agriculture (7.9%) and waste (5.9%).

The presence of natural gas in the Quebec car fleet would allow Quebec to improve its environmental performance, which in turn would help to reach its Kyoto targets.

QOGA welcomes the publication of new operating principles for hydraulic fracturing

30.01.2012

January 30, 2012 — The Quebec Oil and Gas Association (QOGA) today welcomed the publication of operating practices for hydraulic fracturing by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

“QOGA salutes CAPP for establishing these best practices for industry. These commitments demonstrate the seriousness and rigor with which industry takes the development of our natural gas potential. Industry is constantly striving to meet the population’s expectations with regard to this important energy source,” said Stéphane Gosselin, Director General of QOGA.

QOGA will use CAPP’s principles as an important reference in establishing its own rules to ensure a safe and responsible development of Quebec’s natural gas potential.

“Quebecers must be reassured that we are listening to their concerns. We want to maintain a mutual dialogue between citizens and industry. This dialogue must be open and transparent. Today’s announcement on fracturing fluid disclosure is an example of this,” said Mr. Gosselin.

Members of QOGA value and encourage initiatives of openness and transparency in developing the natural gas industry. QOGA salutes the work of its Canadian counterpart.

Click here for a copy of “Hydraulic Fracturing Operating Practices” from CAPP.

The Premier of New Brunswick is in favor of shale gas

QOGA invites readers to consult this CBC article about the recent statement by David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick, about shale gas development in his province. During a speech, Mr. Alward essentially said the same things as U.S. President Barack Obama on the economic and environmental potential of this important energy source.

QOGA wishes to highlight some key elements from Mr. Alward’s speech:

1 – The desire to develop this energy source does not preclude the adoption and enforcement of strict and rigorous regulation. In this regard, QOGA has already positioned itself in favor of responsible development.

2 – The many economic advantages that the people of New Brunswick will gain from development will allow the province to address important issues like the provincial debt and unemployment, amongst others.

QOGA shares Mr. Alward’s vision on the development of our natural gas potential and the energy challenges of the future.

President Barack Obama supports shale gas

27.01.2012

QOGA would like to highlight the words of U.S. President Barack Obama relating to shale gas in his most recent State of the Union speech, which occurred on January 24, 2012. President Obama raised the issue of energy challenges facing America and the importance of developing natural gas from shale.

You can read the speech on the White House website by clicking here.

We invite you to read this passage where President Obama noted the success of shale gas and the significant potential of this exciting energy resource for his country:

“But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years.  And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.  Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.  And I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. Because America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.

“The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.  And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock –- reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.”

Beware of False Comparisons

26.01.2012

The article by Jessica Nadeau published in the January 26, 2012 edition of La Presse mentions the existence of some 600 abandoned wells (natural gas, oil or brine) in Quebec that have been closed or abandoned for several years. This list includes wells that were drilled in the 19th century.

QOGA wishes to clarify that the wells mentioned in the article, both in their design and in the way they are regulated, are not related to the exploration and development of shale gas. It is important to recall that between 2006 and 2010, members of QOGA drilled 29 wells in their efforts to explore for shale gas in Quebec and that these 29 wells are still under their control and are rigorously monitored.

The exploration and development of shale gas are based on techniques and technologies that have been proven in other Canadian provinces and in the United States. No comparison can be made between these wells and those drilled in the 19th century.

QOGA has always supported the implementation of a rigorous and modern regulatory regime. QOGA members make no compromises when it comes to the safety of citizens and the environment.

QOGA Statement on Update to Professor Muehlenbachs’ Shale Study

18.01.2012

January 17, 2012 – QOGA takes note of the clarifications provided by the Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs (MDDEP) on the validity of the source water samples analyzed by an Albertan researcher. In that regard, please take note of the press release issued by MDDEP.

QOGA would like to draw your attention to the modifications made by professor Muehlenbachs to the document used to make his presentation. He has corrected his document to clarify that the Quebec water samples used for his study do not come from an aquifer, but from the cellar of wells at St. Edouard Hz1a and Gentilly-2. The samples analyzed consisted of rainwater accumulated in those cellars. You can see the document here.

QOGA members comply with government guidelines.

QOGA takes all reports suggesting potential impacts of the industry on the environment seriously. QOGA and its members make no compromise with citizen safety.

A strategic environmental assessment is currently underway, as recommended by the BAPE. QOGA supports this exercise which will yield an exhaustive and scientific study on the development of the gas industry in Quebec.

For more information :

Marc-André Gosselin
HATLEY Strategy Advisors
514 316-7082
media@apgq-qoga.com

For a greener car fleet: natural gas

23.11.2011

Recently, QOGA posted a note here on the technological shift happening amongst the major car manufacturers toward more use of natural gas. The reason for this shift is simple: the use of natural gas for motorized transport offers significant technical and environmental performance while at the same time being highly cost-effective.

On Thursday, November 17, 2011, the use of natural gas in the car industry was recognized: the Honda Civic Natural Gas was crowned Green Car of the Year Award Motor Show at the Los Angeles Motor Show. The natural gas-powered car beat out its hybrid rivals.

We invite you to read the following article which appeared in the Quebec media with the announcement.

Natural Gas: The Future of the Automobile

16.11.2011

The major car manufacturers are putting natural gas front and centre in the environmental transition of motorized transport. In fact, several manufacturers have announced a shift to natural gas.

For example, Honda Motor Co. announced in January 2011 its intention to sell vehicles powered by natural gas for the general public in all 50 U.S. states next year. At the moment, the company already sells 1500 vehicles of this type per year, principally to government agencies.

In March 2011, Ford announced a goal to have half of all of its vehicles operate with at least some natural gas by 2012.

In April 2011, Chrysler LLC put in place a plan to begin selling vehicles powered by natural gas in 2017.

And in June 2011, General Motors announced it had concluded an agreement with Westport Innovations, Inc. in order to develop new engines powered by natural gas.

The increased use of natural gas by the major car manufacturers clearly demonstrates that its use in motorized transport is not only affordable for consumers, but also offers a significant technical and environmental advantage. In addition, studies show that natural gas significantly reduces emissions of greenhouse gases produced by car transportation.

It is important to remember that among all sources of pollution in Quebec, car transportation produces the most greenhouse gasses. Indeed, according to information published on November 4, 2011 by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks (MDDEP), the transportation sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (43.5%), followed by industry (28%), heating buildings (14%), agriculture (7.9%) and finally garbage (5.9%).

The presence of natural gas in the Quebec car scene would allow Quebec to improve its environmental performance.

Me Lucien Bouchard’s speech from the 3rd QOGA Annual Conference

27.10.2011

On Monday, October 24, 2011, the president of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association, Me Lucien Bouchard, delivered a speech to QOGA’s 3rd Annual Conference. In his speech, Me Bouchard discussed the evolution of the shale gas sector in Quebec. To learn more about the analysis presented by Me Bouchard on the progress made by industry, the state of current projects and prospects for the future development of this resource, you can read the full speech here.