CALGARY, July 18, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Today a group of twelve Quebecers
end a three-day tour in Alberta; an initiative by the Oil and Gas
Services Association of Quebec (OGSAQ).
"This tour allowed participants to experience first-hand the quality of
the relationship that has developed between farmers and Alberta's
natural gas industry. It was an opportunity to demystify the process of
hydraulic fracturing and to demonstrate how, under an appropriate
regulatory environment, the industry acts in a safe and
environmentally-friendly way." said Mario Levesque, President AFSPG.
Alberta stood out as a destination for those Quebecers seeking answers
to their questions about the gas industry. It produces 73% of the
energy of the country and contains 64% of Canada's natural gas
reserves. Since the 1950s, 171,000 wells have been subjected to the
process of hydraulic fracturing. Since 2008, 3,300 horizontal wells
with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing have been drilled.
Alberta's knowledge is a model for Quebec. The Energy Resources
Conservation Board (ERCB), a responsible regulation agency, and the Surface Rights Board (SRB), which ensures the protection of rights of property owners, have
developed a world-class expertise. Their impartiality, transparency and
timeliness promote constructive dialogue between all stakeholders.
"I leave here with a renewed conviction that it is possible to develop
the gas industry while respecting local communities, and in particular
the farming community. I understand very well, however, the
apprehensions of many Quebecers. Our visit in western Canada has
certainly added to our knowledge, but this experience cannot replace
the important ongoing work of the Strategic Environmental Assessment
Committee (SEA) of oil and gas development. It does however allow us to confirm the
quality of the recent recommendations by a group of reputable and independent UK experts who said that if
governments make the right choices, hydraulic fracturing is safe." said
"We have seen with our own eyes that there exists an alternative to
confrontation and that there are people embracing this alternative. I
invite Quebecers to take advantage of the 15 months between now and the
completion of SEA's study to engage in constructive dialogue with all
the stakeholders. I invite them to take inspiration from our experience
here. We have seen that the industry is not insensitive. Does it not
continually invest itself in innovation and ways to respond to the
legitimate demands of citizens?" concluded Mr. Lévesque.
The OGSAQ would like to thank all the Albertans who welcomed the Quebec
visitors, in particular the men and women who graciously invited us
onto their land. Furthermore, we would like to thank our partner PSAC as well the representatives of the organizations who gave their time to
meet and discuss with our group.
SOURCE Oil and Gas Services Association of Québec (OGSAQ)
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