Quebec Oil and Gas
Many analysts of the energy sector consider natural gas to be the energy source of the next decades. The development of Shale basins in North America is leading to a real energetic revolution. Natural gas already has an important part in the energetic strategies of every country, and this part will expand in the upcoming years.
We might think that the situation is different in Québec, considering the specificities of its energetic portfolio based almost totally on hydraulic energy production. Despite this hydraulic heritage of which Quebecers are proud of, almost half of the energy used in Québec comes from fossil energies.
Natural gas availability greatly contributes to the competitiveness of several businesses of the industrial sector, among the most important businesses creating value and employment in Québec.
Québec uses approximately 2 billion dollars worth in natural gas per year and access to this energetic resource is crucial for several Québec industrial businesses. Many industries creating employment in Québec, such as pulp and paper, aluminum, smelter and cement industries need the energetic value of natural gas. Québec’s 2006-2015 energetic strategy clearly illustrates this fact:
Natural gas has a strategic part in every domain where heat production must be controlled with precision. […] The industrial sector on its own uses nearly 50% of Québec’s natural gas supplies, representing more than 16% of energetic needs. For many industries, natural gas availability is an important location factor.
Every nation in the world aspires to independance in regards to foreign energetic resources and Québec is no exception. Our gas supplies are totally dependant on only one production basin and one means of transportation. Only one pipeline covers the country from west to east. Because of Québec’s geographical situation, the province is at the other end of the transportation line, thus Québec is totally dependant of the TransCanada PipeLines natural gas network’s effectiveness since the totality of natural gas used in Québec is transported by this unique means of transportation. Not only is Québec dependant of the TCPL conduct, it is also at the mercy of the decline in gas production in the western provinces of Canada. Québec’s 2006-2015 energetic strategy declares:
The only reserves we have direct access to seem to be near their ending since proved reserves have diminished by 40% in 20 years. […] Thus, we have to diversify our source supplies in order to reinforce our energetic security in the mid and long terms.
From the moment a major gas discovery is made on our territory, it appears normal to us to produce this resource here instead of continuing to import it from western Canada. By doing so, not only will supplies be secured, but it will automatically result in a shift from Alberta to Québec in value creation associated to our own gas consumption.
The diversification of gas supplies is an important preoccupation that has been expressed several times in Québec’s 2006-2015 energetic strategy. This preoccupation has led to the elaboration of a few methane terminal projects in the last few years. It seems logical that producing the resource directly on our territory is by far the most profitable solution in order to contribute to the security of gas supplies in Québec. It is the first priority of Québec’s energetic strategy action plan.