SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE EXTRACTION

ENERGY (NATURAL GAS)

What is Natural gas

Natural gas is one of the safest and cleanest forms of energy we have today. It can be found by itself or in association with oil. It is a mixture of hydrocarbons. It is mainly made of methane but other hydrocarbons include ethane, propane, and butane

What is the economic and trade value of your resource to Canada? To the World?

  • Job growth: The natural gas industry is a major employer and creates jobs. In Canada, the industry is expected to provide 317,000 jobs by 2035, and these jobs doubled by 2010.
  • We use energy on a daily basis therefore we use natural gas daily . We use it for homes, schools, restaurants, and many other places. A very common use for natural gas in homes are for furnaces. It is also used for transportation
  • Community benefits: Communities benefit from drilling activity in their area through increased use of local businesses ranging from trucking to supply services to accommodation.
  • Trade value: Canada is the third largest country to produce natural gas, which means that Canada sells lots of natural gas as an income to the economy just like they do with oil. And more than 90 percent of Americas natural gas was exported from Canada. Canada exported as much $15 billion dollars of natural gas around the world as recorded in 2010. And from this Canada increased Canada revenues.
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What is the impact of the extraction of this resource on the environment and all stakeholders?

  • Air pollution: like many other fossil fuels natural gas pollutes the earth by releasing toxins into the atmosphere. The combustion of natural gas produces sulfur, mercury, and particulates. But these impacts aren't as bad as other fossil fuels that why natural gas is none for being more "Eco friendly" but is still very bad for the environment.
  • Land use and wildlife: The factory takes up space that could've been used for more economical reasons like farms and thing like that. And the places surrounding it can also be endanger cause of the pollution.

Extraction Process

Extraction Process

Prep:

To start extracting natural gas, a drilling location is needed. This includes the construction of roads to the drilling pad site and the proper grading of the area where the equipment will be placed. Now drilling pads must be built and maintained. To start the drilling process, there are two methods that are the most common; horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Verical drilling is also used.

Process:

For the process to be more productive and less expensive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are combined. First a whole is drilled into the ground of the drilling location. This location has been planned after studying the geologic study of the site. Then a steel casing is inserted to stabilize the well on the top of the ground. As the drilling is begun, a liquid called drilling mud is pumped in which results in cooling the drill pit. Once the drilling is reached to a point where it is below the base of the usable water, the drill pipe is removed and more steel casing is inserted. Cement is pumped into the casing and out the bottom to its way up. This creates a cement container. Just to make sure the seal is good, it is pressure tested and the drilling resumes. When the pipe has reached the point where it is approximately 10,000 ft underground, the pipe starts drilling horizontal. Once the target is reached, the drilling pipe is removed and steel casing is inserted. Cement is inserted once again to make a cement reinforced container. With a special tool, whole are now shot into the casing and into the shale. This where the hydraulic fracturing process comes to play. This process involves using water and sand and other chemicals. A fluid consisting of water, sand, and chemicals is injected into the well. This fractures the rock. This process is repeated several times.

Completion:

This whole drilling process takes only about 2-3 months. At the surface the gas is separated from the fluids. The remaining water is put into tanks and transported for disposal. Horizontal drilling does have an advantage. With this method, multiple wells can be drilled from the same pad site. When all the natural gas that can be recovered has been produced, the land is returned to the way it was before the drilling processes started. Once the land is back to its natural state, there are going to be no virtual signs that a well was ever there.

Sustainability Practice

Vertical Drilling is used to extract the natural gas from underground. But horizontal drilling can help sustain the process of extraction of the gas. If we use vertical drilling we can still extract the gas from the ground but we would have to repeat the process of drilling a whole every time. This is because vertical drilling means drilling a hole in the ground and inserting a drill pipe that goes straight down until it has reached its target. But horizontal drilling is more productive. One of the main advantages of using horizontal drilling is that its possible to drill several laterals from just one surface drilling-pad. This minimizes the impact on the surface environment. Horizontal drilling also helps to reach areas when the government might not allow to drill there because of homes or parks etc. It also helps reach areas vertical drilling can't reach.


Hydraulic fracturing is used to help take out natural gas or oil that is trapped in low permeability rocks. With this pathways are created so that the natural gas or oil can pass through and get to the well where it will be pumped.

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