We are 8 million, we need to talk!
MONTREAL, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Last days debate about natural gas production in Quebec convinced the Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec (OGSAQ) to release poll results, conducted between August 9th and August 13th by Leger Marketing on behalf of OGSAQ. This poll shows that the level of knowledge of Quebecers on energy issues remains relatively low, in particular with regard to hydrocarbons.
Seven out of ten Quebecers believe they are misinformed about shale gas. When asked about their general knowledge of the energy sector, the average score of respondents was 39%. "It shows how education and information are an important challenge! Aren't they also a prerequisite to any action?" asked the President of OGSAQ, Mr. Mario Lévesque.
The confusion is particularly striking about shale gas, being perceived differently than natural gas by Quebecers. 67% of respondents have a good opinion of natural gas exploitation in Quebec, while this proportion falls to 17% when it comes to shale gas. "Shale gas is natural gas, says Mr. Levesque. Extraction processes may differ, but in the end, the targeted molecule is CH4, or methane, which composes 95% of natural gas. "
Confusion also remains on the issue of energy independence. 69% of Quebecers are opposed to shale gas exploitation, but 62% of them do not believe it is preferable to purchase natural gas from Western Canada rather than producing it in Quebec .
"We must have a debate on Quebec's energy policy, that will allow significant consideration for natural gas for many years to come. In 2009, natural gas accounted for 12.55% of total energy consumption. While we already use natural gas from unconventional formations in Western Canada and as our distributor, Gaz Métro, intends to import large quantities of natural gas from unconventional sources from the United States, isn't it appropriate to discuss the facts and the means by which we can consider the sustainable development of this industry in our country and create jobs in Quebec instead of in the United States?" asked Mario Lévesque.
"Beyond discrepancies in perceptions demonstrated by the poll results, I think Quebecers still have many questions. The industry must continue its efforts to educate and invite Quebecers to engage themselves in a real dialogue with it. After recently observing collaboration between the gas industry in Alberta and farmers of the province of Quebec in the field, they came back convinced that the harmonious coexistence between stakeholders was possible. I bet that as they learn more facts, they will be more likely to support a gas industry that has proven itself elsewhere in the country and has always been able to develop with the support of local communities in which it operates "concluded Mr. Lévesque.
OGSAQ wants to pursue dialogue between industry and the Government of Quebec and hopes that the studies conducted by the Strategic Environmental Assessment Committee is used as guidelines for future exchanges.
The poll results are available at the following address: http://goo.gl/rDMNn.
Come take the energy diet quiz for yourself at www.ogsaq.com and see where you stack up!
The Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec (OGSAQ), founded in 2011, represents 35 companies employing more than 5000 workers.
SOURCE: Oil and Gas Services Association of Québec (OGSAQ)For further information:
Oil and Gas Services Association of Quebec