Natural gas is an abundant and a naturally occurring resource in Canada.
The Resource: Natural Gas
Canada is the world’s third largest producer of natural gas with average annual production of 6.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
Natural gas mainly consists of methane and other gas types. Wells are drilled into the ground to remove the gas. From there, the natural gas is transported through pipelines to a plant where it is processed (liquids and gases are separated) and is then transported to consumers for use in products like plastics or heating.
Natural gas exists in many different formations, some harder to access than others. Shale gas, which is gas that’s stored in shale rock formations, and natural gas from coal, which is gas found in coal deposits, also known as coalbed methane, are two types of natural gas that are found in different formations.
Natural gas is an abundant and a naturally occurring petroleum product in Canada. British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories all have significant natural gas resources. Our industry is also exploring natural gas reserves in offshore Nova Scotia, along with shale gas in northeastern British Columbia and Quebec.
Read more about Conventional & Unconventional Natural Gas
The Issues: Safety and New Sources
Natural Gas Safety
Our industry is committed to keeping our employees and the public safe while producing natural gas – and we’re prepared with emergency response plans in case of an emergency. We also make every effort to communicate our operations and plans to local communities.
In Canada, most of our natural gas has high levels of hydrogen sulphide, also known as sour gas. While sour gas can be lethal, Canadian companies have become world leaders in the safe operation of sour gas facilities. This means rigorous industry and government controls, specialized training and inspection procedures designed to prevent accidents.
Read more about Health & Safety
Shift Away from the Traditional
The easier-to-produce sources of natural gas are in decline, so our industry is turning to sources that are more difficult and expensive to develop. These include natural gas from coal, tight sands gas, offshore gas and shale gas.
Read more about Shale Gas