I want to congratulate Pauline Marios who has done well to lead her party back in to a minority government with 54 seats. Mr. Charest once again showed he is a great campaigner and did better than many pundits thought to lead a strong opposition of 50 seats. Finally for Mr. Legault to come out the gates with his ‘new party’ and win 19 seats is also impressive.
I have already been asked a few times, what do the election results mean for our business in Quebec. Questerre has always said it would work with any government Quebecers choose..
With negative rhetoric during the campaign, all the political parties sought to curry favour with the 60% of Quebecers who state they are in favour of a ‘shale gas moratorium’. Far fewer than 60% of Quebecers know that shale gas and natural gas are virtually the same thing. So perhaps it not a surprise that at the same time, all political parties also indicated they could be in favour of developing natural gas in Quebec.
The Parti Quebecois is in favour if a satisfactory environmental study says it can be done safely and Quebec gets it fair share.
The Liberal party is in favour if the current environmental study concludes it can be developed safely and Quebec gets more.
Quebec Solidaire is in favour if the project is nationalized and it can be done safely.
Only the CAQ firmly stated that the technology is not ready yet. Somewhat strangely the CAQ is in favour of oil projects that use the same technology. One might infer if environmental studies determine the technology is in fact ready that they could be in favour too. Especially since the CAQ says Quebec needs more entrepreneurs and moratoriums are not exactly entrepreneur friendly.
Another positive sign is the Government investment arm has been investing in local shale oil players. Both Petrolia and Junex have announced they are proceeding with shale oil wells backed by Quebec Government money.
We all know oil has added environmental considerations and is not as simple to develop as natural gas. So Quebec going forward with oil exploration is another sign of budding social acceptability in Quebec for hydrocarbon development.
We might not have to wait too long after the election because the condition of favourable environmental reports has already been met. Below is a list of dozens of independent studies confirming that modern natural gas (and oil) development can be done safely. You can access a library of studies at this link also: No Hot Air.
We just need 60% of Quebecers to realize there is no difference between shale gas and natural gas. I am hopeful the new government of Ms. Marois will take over from the activists and do a great job of communicating what local natural gas development is. The last government made a splashy video promoting the plan nord. Could we be so lucky as to get a video explaining a plan sud?
List of Independent Studies:
Oil & Gas Services Association of Quebec: Debunking Marc Durand
Penn State University – Another Duke Rebuke
University of Texas at Austin – Early Results from Hydraulic Fracturing Study Show No Direct Link to Groundwater Contamination
U.K.’s Environment Agency – U.K. shale exploration should resume: environment agency
Yale University – The Arithmetic Of Shale Gas
Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering – Shale gas extraction final report
Poland Geologist Institute – Environmental Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing Treatment Performed on the ŁEBIEŃ LE-2H WELL
Université du Texas at Austin – Shale Gas Regulation – Separating Fact from Fiction in Shale Gas Development
Stanford University – Extracting natural gas from shale can be done in an environmentally responsible way
MIT (Harvard) – The Future of Natural Gas
National Research Council – Fracking can cause earthquakes, but risk is low
British Geological Survey – Shale Drilling Won’t Start Dangerous Quakes, U.K. Scientists Say
US Geological Survey – Nature | NewsMethod predicts size of fracking earthquakes
Injection sites (EPA) – 5 classes. All EPA supervized. O&G is Class 2
Cornell University – A commentary on “The greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas in shale formations” by R.W. Howarth, R. Santoro, and Anthony Ingraffea
DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) – Rebutting the Howarth shael gas study
WorldWatch Institute – Despite Methane Emissions Upstream, Natural Gas Is Cleaner than Coal on a Life-Cycle Basis
Carnegie Mellon University – Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Marcellus shale
University of Maryland – The greenhouse impact of unconventional gas for electricity generation
API/ANGA Study – Methane Emissions of Fracked Wells Half of EPA Estimates
Durham University/Cardiff University/University of Tromso, Norway
EPA: Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs
Canada West Foundation: Seismic Shifts
Reservoir Research Partners & Tudor Pickering Holt & Co.: FRAC ATTACK: RISKS, HYPE, AND FINANCIAL REALITY OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING IN THE SHALE PLAYS
Pembina Institute: Protecting Water, Producing Gas
Groundwater Protection Council: Modern Shale Gas Development in the United States: A Primer
Suzuki/Pembina: Is natural gas a climate change solution for Canada?
Energy Institute: Fact-Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development
World Watch: Addressing the Environmental Risks from Shale Gas Development
Correction: Junex has not announced that it is drilling oil shale wells with Government funding.