Oil Sands

Oil and gas development is an opportunity for Canada’s First Nations that rivals the traplines of yesterday. Jobs and prosperity derived from energy development and other resource development represent the best chance for Canada’s First Nations to make a life for themselves on their traditional lands.

174 First Nations across Canada are interested in oil and gas development.

For too long the detriments of hydrocarbons have been measured against the so-called benefits of green energy. It is time for an honest discussion on Canada’s energy balance.

When used responsibly, hydrocarbons have the potential to eliminate more pollution-intensive forms of energy, such as the burning of dung or wood in developing areas of the globe.

Without hydrocarbons, life would be nasty, brutish and short.

Videos

Play Video
Play Video
Play Video

Counter-Points


Counter-Point 

The world needs more Canada. Contrary to what many ‘green’ groups would have you believe, Canada is not an island, and we cannot act on our own to reduce global emissions.

If we try to act alone, and introduce new taxes and new regulations, businesses will move to jurisdictions with lower costs, hurting the Canadian economy. This may even result in higher emissions, as Canadian companies are already world leaders in the use of clean tech.

Failing to develop our natural resources will mean that it’s Canadian jobs and Canadian prosperity that will decrease, not global emissions!


Counter-Point

Canada’s oil sands contribute less than 0.14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, oil sands oil is produced under the most stringent regulatory regime in the world for oil development. In fact, according to the Government of Canada, between 2005 and 2015, emission per barrel of oil from Canada’s oil sands decreased by 12%. When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the largest source – by far – comes from coal-burning electricity plants.

Counter-point Far from it. Oil sands companies have worked hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of oil sands oil while reducing the amount of water and electricity consumed in the extraction process. According to research conducted for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, some of the continent’s dirtiest oil comes from the United States. California contains thirteen oil fields which generate higher levels of emissions than Canadian diluted bitumen, and North America’s “dirtiest” oil comes from the Placerita oil field near Los Angeles, which “generates about twice the level of upstream emissions as Canadian oilsands production.” And the world’s dirtiest oil? That would be Nigeria’s Brass crude blend, “where the uncontrolled release of methane during the oil extraction process generates upstream GHG emissions that are over four times higher than Canadian dilbit.” Canadians are world leaders in technology to responsibly harvest the natural resources we need. If we want to reduce emissions globally, putting Canada at the forefront of worldwide energy production will be key.
Counterpoint SAGD Extraction which makes up 80% of oil sands extraction breaks even when WTI is around the mid $40s. Mining has also decreased from $100 per barrel to $65. WTI has been hovering over $50 which means most projects are breaking even or producing revenue.

Studies

Western Canadian Crude Oil Supply, Markets and Pipeline Capacity

Title: Western Canadian Crude Oil Supply, Markets and Pipeline Capacity Author: National Energy Board Publisher: National Energy Board Date: December 2018 Full Text Article Summary: The National Energy Board’s report on crude oil statistics for December 2018 Produced 4.5 million bp/d Exported 3.2 million bp/d,  99% to the US. 88 million barrels worth of

IHS Markit: The Green House Gas Intensity of Oil Sands Production

Title: IHS Markit: The Green House Gas Intensity of Oil Sands Production Author: Kevin Birn Publisher: IHS Markit Date: 2018 Full Article Here Summary: Numerous policies have advanced in recent years to try to limit and reverse oil sands emission growthwhile minimizing the economic impacts

The Relative GHG Emissions of Conventional and Shale Gas Production

Title: The Relative GHG Emissions of Conventional and Shale Gas Production Author: Trevor Stephenson, Jose Eduardo Valle, & Xavier Riera-Palou (2011). Publisher: Environmental Science & Technology Date: 2011 Full Text Article Summary: Recent reports show growing reserves of unconventional gas are available and that there is an appetite from policy makers, industry, and others to better

How Alberta’s Carbon Emission Cap Will Reduce Oil Sands Growth

Title: How Alberta’s Carbon Emission Cap Will Reduce Oil Sands Growth Author: Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson Publisher: Fraser Institute Date: August 2016 Full Text Article Summary: The Alberta government has proposed implementing a 100 megatonne (Mt) cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from oil sands operations. This paper estimated future

A Review of Cogeneration in Alberta

Title: A Review of Cogeneration in Alberta Author: EDC Associates Publisher: EDC Associates Date: September 29th, 2015 Full Report Here Summary: Cogeneration (cogen) technology is well established and has been deployed in the industrial sector of North America in its current forms for over 30 years. Efficiency gains in the technology have greatly

Safety First: Intermodal Safety for Oil and Gas Transportation

Title: Safety First: Intermodal Safety for Oil and Gas Transportation Author: Kenneth P. Green & Taylor Jackson Publisher: Fraser Institute Date: 2017 Full Text Article Summary: A contentious road lies ahead for the construction of three recently approved oil pipelines (Trans Mountain, Line 3, and Keystone XL). Given continued opposition to oil and gas

A Changing Tide: British Columbia’s Emerging Liquefied Natural Gas Industry

Title: A Changing Tide: British Columbia’s Emerging Liquefied Natural Gas Industry Author: Len Coad, Daniel Munro, Prince Owusu, & Allison Robins Publisher: The Conference Board of Canada. Date: February 29, 2016 Full Text Article Summary: A Changing Tide: British Columbia’s Emerging Liquefied Natural Gas Industry quantifies the potential economic and labour market impacts associated with

The Role of Natural Gas in Powering Canada’s Economy

Title: The Role of Natural Gas in Powering Canada’s Economy Author: Pedro Antunes, Len Coad, and Alicia Macdonald Publisher: Conference Board of Canada Date: December 17, 2012 Full Text Article Summary: Demand for Canadian natural gas will double between 2012 and 2035, driven by production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Asian export markets and

Assessing Canada’s Energy Sector Competitiveness

Title: Assessing Canada’s Energy Sector Competitiveness Author:  Elmira Aliakbari Associate Director, Natural Resource Studies Publisher: Fraser Institute Date: July 18th, 2019 Full Study Here Summary: In addition to pipeline constraints, increased taxation and regulatory requirements in recent years have exacerbated the issues facing the oil and gas industry. Canada’s recent policy

An International Comparison of Leading Oil and Gas Producing Regions

Title: An International Comparison of Leading Oil and Gas Producing Regions Author: WorleyParsons Date: January 2014 Full Text Article Summary: The purpose of this study was to compare Alberta, Canada with other locations around the world in terms of their environmental policies, laws and regulatory systems. Other locations that were compared with Alberta

LNG and Coal Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Title: LNG and Coal Life Cycle Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Author: Pace Global Date: October 2015 Full Text Article Summary: This report highlight important differences between the emissions generated from LNG and coal for power generation, namely that: Existing coal technology for the five LNG export markets analyzed in this study was found

Gas Opportunities for Atlantic Canada

Title: Gas Opportunities for Atlantic Canada Author: Andrew Pickford Publisher: Atlantic Institute for Market Studies Date: February 2016 Full Text Article Summary: The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) has produced a report on the potential for Atlantic Canada to capitalize on the golden age of gas. The report, authored by Andrew Pickford, examines

Is the Canadian Oil Industry Subsidized?

Title: Is the Canadian Oil Industry Subsidized? Author: Youri Chassin Publisher: Montreal Economic Institute Date: May 2014 Full Report Here Summary: Contrary to renewable energy production, which could not survive without government help, the industry that develops oil and gas resources is highly profitable and has paid on average $18 billion a year in