Introduction to Natural Gas
Canada’s natural gas industry is well-regulated, technically advanced, committed to improving environmental performance and is positioned to help meet growing global demand.
Government support of a particular industry or company, via direct spending from the public purse and/or credit support, is deemed a subsidy.
Hydraulic fracturing is a technology to recover shale or tight oil or natural gas trapped in non-porous or “tight” rock formation, a technique known as “unconventional” recovery.
Oil and Natural Gas Pipelines
Pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to move large volumes of oil and natural gas from development areas to refineries, petrochemical plants and even to our homes and businesses for use.
Health and Safety
The top priority in Canada's oil and natural gas industry is the health and safety of workers, the public and communities.
Canada's oil and natural gas industry works with Indigenous groups to seek ways to mitigate impacts and to share the benefits of resource development.
Tailings are a mixture of water, sand, clay and residual bitumen, and are the by-product of the hot water treatment process used to separate the oil from sand and clay in oil sands mining operations.
Water is not only a resource, it is essential to life. We all share the responsibility to ensure a healthy, secure and sustainable water supply for our communities, environment, and economy – our quality of life depends on it.
Water Quality and Monitoring
Both mining and in situ oil sands operations are carefully managed to avoid affecting the quality of surface water (rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and other fresh water sources) and groundwater.
Protecting Fresh Water
Regulations are in place to ensure a well is properly engineered to maintain safety and integrity over its full life cycle. Industry uses several tools to assure the quality, and proactively monitor the status, of the steel casing and cement for early detection of degradation
When caused by humans, seismic activity (also called earthquake activity) is known as induced seismicity. Induced seismicity is associated with industrial processes including geothermal energy extraction, mining, dam building, construction, and hydraulic fracturing.
With a diverse wildlife population throughout Canada's oil and natural gas producing areas - including offshore - protecting species and habitats is an important consideration in project planning.
Regulations ensure disturbed land is returned to an acceptable state once operations have reached the end of their productive life. Returning disturbed land to a useable state is called land reclamation.
Life Cycle of a Well
Every company that explores for and develops Canada’s oil and natural gas resources is financially responsible for safely managing wells and associated facilities. This includes all stages of a well’s life cycle: exploration, development and operation, abandonment and reclamation.
Surface rights determine who has the rights to the surface area of land, while mineral rights determine who has the right to exploit any minerals located beneath the surface of a property.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Burning hydrocarbons such as oil and natural gas produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, all of which contribute to climate change.
Flaring and Venting
Flaring and venting are both controlled releases of greenhouse gases, including methane, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) into the atmosphere.