An environmental group today launched a new video game that takes aim at Canada's oil and gas industry. The game includes an easily-anticipated storyline that pits players against political leaders on a hyperbolized industrial backdrop.
"Balancing environmental protection, economic growth and providing ongoing safe and reliable supplies of energy is not a game," said Janet Annesley, Vice President of Communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
"Using guerilla marketing tactics to distract people from the realities of energy production may be entertaining but it's not informative or constructive to a meaningful conversation about energy issues and solutions."
The Canadian oil sands are some of the vital resources that provide energy to Canada and North America. However, oil sands are only one part of Canada's energy mix.
"Canada has the second largest reserves of crude oil in the world. We are also the third largest natural gas producer and the second largest hydroelectric producer, so calling Canada a 'Tar Nation' is inaccurate," Annesley said.
Fossil fuels (primarily oil, coal and natural gas) are forecast to play an important role in the global energy mix for the foreseeable future(1). It is also forecast that an increasing share of energy demand will be met by hydroelectricity, wind, solar, nuclear and other forms of renewable and alternative energy. All of these sources of energy will be required to meet global demand.
Canada's oil sands, located primarily in the province of Alberta, have the potential to significantly enhance North America's energy security by providing a safe and reliable supply of crude oil and petroleum products, and the oil sands industry is committed to the responsible development of this important resource.
In Northern Alberta, oil sands are developed using two techniques: surface mining or in situ drilling. Surface mining, which is used to develop 20 per cent of the resource, utilizes large electric shovels and trucks. In more than 40 years, oil sands development has disturbed approximately 530 square kilometers of land. This is equivalent to 1/10th of the Toronto metro area or 0.2 per cent of Canada's Boreal Forest. The other 80 per cent of the resource must be developed using advanced in situ drilling technology, similar to conventional oil production.
All lands disturbed by oil sands development must be fully reclaimed under both federal and provincial laws. The land, air, and water surrounding development are closely monitored and companies must abide by one of the strongest government regulatory systems in the world.
Oil sands development does not go ahead without direct and meaningful consultation about both environmental impacts and economic benefits. Discussion, science, stakeholder viewpoints and disputes are brought forward transparently at public, government-moderated hearings.
"Canadians deserve an opportunity to look at balanced information about energy, our social and environmental performance and to decide for themselves," Annesley said. "We invite Canadians to watch this video-tour of the oil sands for a reasonable and balanced perspective."
Oil Sands and Greenhouse Gases
- 26% better: GHGs from oil sands have declined 26 per cent per barrel from 1990 to 2010
- Oil sands crude is 5 - 15 per cent more GHG-intensive than the US
average on a well-to-wheel, or lifecycle basis
- Canada produces two per cent of global GHG emissions
- Oil sands production accounts for five per cent of Canada's total GHG
- Oil sands production accounts for 0.1 per cent, or 1/1000th of global
- Oil sands' total GHG emissions of 38 megatonnes(2) is equivalent to
one per cent of emissions from the United States power generation
Oil Sands GHG Solutions
- Advancing technology = lower emissions: Technology enables
Canada's oil and gas industry to deliver more energy with fewer GHGs
per barrel of oil equivalent
- Billions of dollars invested every year: $50 billion was invested by
the oil and gas industry in 2007 and 2008 - Canada largest single
private sector investor. 2010 investment is projected at $40 billion
- Diversity: With energy demand increasing, all sources of energy -
from renewables to oil sands - will be needed
- Lower Carbon: Canada has large reserves of natural gas, a lower
carbon fuel. Natural gas could plan an even larger role in meeting
our energy needs
Top Five Sources of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products to the United
Of the top five sources of oil to the United States, Canada is the only
country that currently has GHG regulation in place. All oil sands production
is subject to provincial GHG regulation.
1. Canada's oil sands - GHG regulated
2. Saudi Arabia - GHG unregulated
3. Mexico - GHG unregulated
4. Venezuela - GHG unregulated
5. Nigeria - GHG unregulated
- 1,500 Aboriginal people have direct full time jobs in the oil sands
- More than half a billion dollars in contracts were awarded to
Aboriginal contractors in 2008
- More than $3 billion earned by Aboriginal companies between 1998 and
- More than $3 million in support of Aboriginal community programs in
The Value of Canada's Energy Exports
- $126 Billion in 2008
- 6 per cent of Canada's GDP
- 26 per cent of all Canadian exports
(1) International Energy Agency
(2) Environment Canada 2007
(3) Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Cambridge Energy
For further information:
Chelsie Klassen, Media Relations, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
(P): (403) 267-1151
(M): (403) 542-4115