Canada’s Role as The World’s Greenest Natural Gas Supplier

Brad J Hayes's picture
Brad J Hayes, Outreach Director, Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources
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Natural gas is an important fuel in today’s world and will become even more critical in the future as humanity works to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while growing energy supply for people around the globe.  

LNG supplies natural gas as a clean, low-emissions fuel that can displace coal for electrical power generation. Developing economies are experiencing such rapid growth in electricity demand that they must continuously build new power facilities. While renewables are increasingly important, today only fossil fuels offer the consistent power baseload required for reliable power delivery around the clock – and natural gas is the fuel of choice.

Canada’s natural gas industry is working hard to develop our nation’s abundant natural gas resources for clean power generation – both at home and shipped overseas as LNG. We have some enormous advantages to leverage:

  • Huge discovered gas resources in western Canada, which we can develop and deliver using extensive existing infrastructure;
  • World-leading regulatory regimes governing all aspects of natural gas drilling, production and transportation – protecting the environment while maximizing resource value for Canadians;
  • Deep-water ports on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, situated close to major world markets, including Asia and Europe.

While Canada’s natural gas industry leads the world, we need to do more work to convince the public of the immense benefits of natural gas and LNG development. Our major regulators – the Canada Energy Regulator, Alberta Energy Regulator, and BC Oil & Gas Commission – provide open, transparent regulatory regimes, available for all to see online. Regulators from around the world come to Canada to learn how to govern developing oil and gas industries in their home countries, maximizing economic benefits while minimizing environmental impacts.

Industry groups such as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) provide important information to regulators and to the public about the development of new gas fields and pipelines.  Often overlooked, however, is the immense value that technical organizations, including Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources (CSUR), Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC), Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG) and Society of Professional Engineers (SPE), can bring to the discussion. Members of these groups are professionally-certified scientists and engineers at the cutting edge of energy development and environmental protection.

At CSUR, for example, we provide a forum for industry, academia, regulators and government to interact in developing new science and new standards around natural gas development.  We also engage a variety of initiatives through our Outreach program to help the public learn about key issues around natural gas development, such as:

  • Innovation in water resource management, such as effective recycling and safe wastewater disposal, to protect Canada’s water resources while developing natural gas resources using hydraulic fracturing;
  • Implementing regulations, detection technologies, and engineering innovations to reduce methane emissions during all phases of natural gas development and transportation;
  • “Green” LNG production strategies at Canada’s new LNG projects, some using hydroelectric power and other highly-efficient technologies.

CSUR Outreach has presented to governments, regulators, university faculty and students about these issues. We are expanding our efforts to carry this positive messaging about gas development to the public, working with partners in town hall meetings, conferences, and schools.

Canada’s natural gas industry, regulators, and technical organizations must continue to step up our efforts to engage the public and to help them understand that Canada’s natural gas and LNG is critical in reducing global GHG emissions and protecting global environments.

AN EVENT FOR THE ENTIRE CANADIAN & GLOBAL LNG VALUE CHAIN

The Canada Gas & LNG Exhibition and Conference (12-14 May 2020, Vancouver) provides a unique business opportunity for Canadian Gas & LNG stakeholders to meet the local and global energy value chain, who will be showcasing the latest Natural Gas and LNG innovative technologies, equipment, products and services. Find out more here.