Shale gas in Canada

by Milan on October 15, 2010

in Climate change, Unconventional gas, Water pollution

Here is some recent news coverage on shale gas:

In Quebec, it’s drill, bébé, drill
Kalli Anderson

The ongoing controversy over the exploitation of shale gas deposits in Quebec came to a head last week. On Tuesday, the prominent environmental organization Équiterre released a report that claimed developing a shale gas industry would make it difficult for Quebec to meet it’s existing greenhouse-gas reduction targets. Équiterre called on the province to institute a moratorium on further exploration projects until it concludes comprehensive studies of the potential environmental, health and economic impacts of shale gas exploitation.

Gaz de schiste au Québec – Fin de la récréation : le gouvernement et l’industrie doivent faire leurs devoirs
Publié le 14 sept. 2010

Équiterre a rendu public aujourd’hui une analyse préliminaire du dossier de l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz de schiste au Québec. L’analyse conclut entre autres que le développement de cette filière risque fort de compromettre l’atteinte des objectifs du gouvernement dans le dossier des changements climatiques et juge faible le potentiel de substitution du mazout et du charbon par le gaz naturel. L’analyse estime de manière conservatrice que l’industrie des gaz de schiste pourrait ajouter au moins 1,9 Mt de gaz à effet de serre (GES) au bilan du Québec, soit 12% de l’objectif de réduction fixé par le gouvernement à l’horizon 2020, presque l’équivalent de ce qu’aurait émis la centrale thermique du Suroît.

Canada not ready for shale gas boom
Shawn McCarthy

Canada’s fledgling shale gas industry faces a growing clamour for tighter regulations and greater protection of local water sources amid fears that aggressive drilling techniques carry a heavy environmental cost.

While the threat to groundwater posed by this kind of unconventional gas extraction is definitely a concern, the major reason to worry about the exploitation of unconventional oil and gas reserves is the consequences doing so will have on the climate. Rather than perpetuating our fossil fuel dependence – while chasing fuels that are ever-more dangerous and expensive – we should be shifting our focus to renewable and zero-carbon options.

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. October 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Memo warns of water use for fracking

Water use and contamination are at the top of the list of environmental concerns surrounding shale gas exploration in Canada, Environment Minister Peter Kent was told this year in an internal memo made public Monday.

The advice, drafted by Environment Canada’s top bureaucrat and deputy minister, Paul Boothe, acknowledged that the emerging industry is considered a “game-changer” in the energy market, but it also noted that most sites are using millions of litres of water and hundreds of thousands of litres of unidentified chemicals that are injected in the ground at high pressure to extract natural gas from shale rock formations.

“There is potential for water contamination from the use and disposal of drilling muds and fracturing fluids,” Boothe wrote in the memo to Kent, dated March 8. “There is also a risk of natural gas or saltwater from the formation leaking into surface water, water wells or water aquifers.”

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