Back to the Future in Quebec

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In the past five years there have been many moments and reasons to give up on oil and gas development in Quebec.

The returns of the 2015 annual oil and gas conference are in, and they show that the future of oil and gas in Quebec is very well alive.  We might say we have gone back to the future – but ’the future ain’t what it used to be’! The challenges are great but the potential benefits to society are even greater.   Highlights of the conference show optimism is being rewarded.

In an emotional moment, Pierre Boivin saluted the pioneers of oil and gas in Quebec.  All of them were his former colleagues at Soquip who have never given up on Rene Levesque’s dream of energy independence for Quebec.  They are an inspiration to the rest of us who continue to work to make that dream a reality.

 Pierre Arcand, the Minister of Natural Resources reconfirmed his 2014 plan of action; a plan to produce comprehensive environmental studies, a new energy policy, and a modern hydrocarbon law.  He says local production is the better alternative to foreign imports.   He is on track.

 As President of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association, I was pleased to respond to his speech with one of the highest compliments to a politician “he is doing what he said he would do”. 

 As former Minister of the Environment, he also promised the Government will ensure the environment is protected with a modern, made in Quebec approach to hydrocarbons. Industry will be there to support evidence and science based regulations to protect Quebec communities and the environment.

 Topics at this year’s annual conference demonstrated industry is doing what it said it would do too.  Speeches and panels covered the entire value chain.  Industry heard from consumers, distributors, suppliers, and processors on the challenges Quebec faces securing a reliable and competitive energy supply. 

 Specialists discussed continuing challenges in gaining and keeping the public’s confidence.  We also heard about the potential for vast economic benefits, not just for Quebec, but for all of Canada.

 Finally we talked about the incredible advances in technology, and future opportunities to make further gains in environmental protection and emissions reductions.

 Quebec based leaders Petrolia, Squatex, Petrolympic, Junex and Questerre all touted the potential to commercialize their various projects.  Petrolia expounded on their success in receiving a certificate of authorization for the first multi stage horizontal wells in Quebec since 2009 to test their liquids rich gas play on Anticosti Island.

 The Quebec Oil and Gas Association has encouraged a step by step approach since 2011.  It has supported consultation and benefits sharing for local communities. It cooperated with the most comprehensive environmental report on modern oil and gas extraction seen in Canada.   QOGA’s members have always believed in the potential to create a flourishing new industry.  Our goal remains to create a stronger energy independent Quebec.

 Close to 300 attendees at this year’s annual conference witnessed the high levels of energy and optimism over the idea that the future today really ain’t what it used to be.  Our association thanks them and all our members for their support.

 We hope you will be there next year to join the Producer-Consumer dialogue on hydrocarbons.