Merci pour votre visite du site Internet La version française de notre site est présentement en refonte et sera disponible sous peu.

Canadian caribou and the oil and gas industry


Oil and natural gas exploration and production does have an impact on the land. Canada’s energy industry works hard to minimize the impacts of development, beginning at the planning stage, before work starts, through project operations, and until the land can be reclaimed.

Minimizing land impacts begins with the project planning phase. Companies seek opportunities to avoid sensitive habitats, minimize the surface area needed, and consult with other land users to reduce the overall land footprint of activity. This includes locating roads so they can be shared by multiple operators, creating narrow seismic lines, drilling multiple wells from a single well pad, employing low-impact pipeline construction methods, and many other measures.

From initial exploration through to project closure, companies strive to achieve timely reclamation and restoration of land disturbed for oil and natural gas development to reduce the size and duration of land impacts. The goal is to quickly return the lands to match the surrounding ecosystems, including the natural mix of plant and animal species.

All land disturbed to support production operations is reclaimed by law, meaning that once operations are complete, companies must restore disturbed land to an equivalent landscape, with self-sustaining native plants.

Multi-well pads reduce land disturbance

Horizontal drilling technology means many wells can be drilled from a single surface location. The use of multi-well drilling pads has greatly reduced the amount of land disturbed in drilling operations. For example, a 20-well horizontal drilling pad disturbs about 5% of the land that would have been impacted by drilling an equal number of separate wells. 

Horizontal drilling technology land disturbance.
A single pad with multiple horizontal wells (left) vs. many wells and pads spread out over more land (right). Vertical drilling was once the standard for exploration, but as the benefits of horizontal drilling were realized, it has become less common.
Oil and gas wildlife impacts


Preserving plants, animals, and habitats.

Oil and gas land impacts

Land reclamation

Returning land disturbed by energy production to a natural state is called “reclamation.” 

Oil and gas seimicity

Induced seismicity

Hydraulic fracturing can cause minor surface movements called “induced seismicity.”

Protecting Marine Environments

Hydraulic Fracturing