The oil patch – slowly – cleans up its act
Mention the words “clean” or “green” alongside “energy” and most people immediately think of windmills and solar panels. But to the oil and gas industry, being clean conjures up different images.
Not that the industry isn’t investing – to a small degree at least – in renewable energy (with Enbridge Inc. being one prominent example). But for the companies who are in the business of extracting and producing oil and natural gas, being cleaner and greener means finding ways to emit less carbon, use less water, disturb less land and use less energy in their operations.
It’s not an easy task. But it’s increasingly necessary. Non-government organizations, foreign policymakers, aboriginal groups, and plenty of everyday citizens are demanding oil and gas companies make gains in all the aforementioned areas in order to keep operating. Those that don’t demonstrate progress face a perilous future.
Clearly there is more to clean energy than hydro, solar and wind power. That is why inside Alberta Oil’s annual clean energy, conservation and technology issue, readers will find content that deals with how the oil and gas sector is responding to some of these complex issues.
You will read about how the industry is looking to cut down its water use while at the same time taking advantage of hydraulic fracturing that, while it is unlocking vast quantities of previously inaccessible oil and gas, also requires copious amounts of water in order to do so.
This issue also has a story detailing the challenges Norway faces as it searches for the right formula to make carbon capture and storage commercially viable. Alberta Oil senior editor Jeff Lewis traveled to Norway to see firsthand what the country is doing.
There is much work to be done to clean up Canada’s oil and gas industry. But while the advances might seem slow in materializing, they are happening. In an increasingly carbon-constrained world, the sector knows it’s bad business to act any other way.
Errata: In the March issue of Alberta Oil Gerry Gionet’s hometown was incorrectly identified as Fort McKay, Alberta. In fact, he is from Saulteaux-Dakota/ O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation in Manitoba. We regret the error.