Alberta oil and gas hugely important to Ontario economy

$2.1B in salaries and wages were generated as the result of oil and gas spending in 2017

Alberta oil and gas hugely important to Ontario economyBy Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre A headline screamed “The end of the Oil Age” in the Economist in 2003. Fast forward 18 years and that still doesn’t make sense in many ways. The demand for oil is increasing across the globe. Even U.S. President Joe Biden is asking the Organization of…

Follow our Indigenous neighbours to a carbon-neutral future

The Wet’suwet’en are trying to preserve our planet in the face of the oil industry trying to amass profit

Follow our Indigenous neighbours to a carbon-neutral futureA major issue is getting surprisingly little coverage in the Canadian media. While we looked away to watch the impact of the climate crisis on farmland in southern British Columbia, 50 heavily armed RCMP constables raided a peaceful blockade in Wet’suwet’en territory in the north of the province. The police used helicopters and canine units…

U.S. tries to force a drop in world oil prices

U.S. "commitment" to tackle climate change crumbles in the face of climate poverty

U.S. tries to force a drop in world oil pricesWith the possibility of co-ordinated moves by major crude-oil consuming nations, the markets took a hit last week. On Friday, oil prices were down four to six per cent. Strong demand growth and a tight leash on global supplies have driven the oil markets in recent months. New COVID-19 lockdowns in parts of the world…

Achieving net-zero will take decades to accomplish

The world is learning the hard way that the global economy still relies on fossil fuels

Achieving net-zero will take decades to accomplishWith the UN-sponsored Climate Change Conference (COP26) climate talks in Glasgow over, it is important to review some of the agreements and implications that have resulted from this process and assess the impact on Canada’s energy resources sector. Putting the rhetoric in context One can take seriously the undeniable threat posed by climate change while…

Atlantic Canada missing out on potential oil and gas boom

Energy sector created more than 20,000 jobs and nearly $7 billion in GDP in 2017 alone

Atlantic Canada missing out on potential oil and gas boomBy Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre Next year will mark 30 years of offshore oil and natural gas production in Atlantic Canada. In that time, Atlantic Canada has been the primary source of human capital for the oil and gas industry in other parts of Canada, while being a significant recipient of…

Biden must act now to rein in rising oil prices

Most likely course of action is a release of oil from emergency reserves

Biden must act now to rein in rising oil pricesU.S. President Joe Biden must act – and act quickly – to rein in the crude oil markets. Pressure is coming from all sides, including from his Democratic Party. Last week, 11 Democratic senators, including several known for their concerns on climate change, urged Biden in a letter to act quickly. “As the United States…

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problems

Nuclear fusion could generate millions of jobs globally

Nuclear fusion could solve our energy and environmental problemsNuclear fusion has been a science-fiction fantasy for a long time, the holy grail of energy production. But it’s rapidly moving closer to reality. The process involves combining multiple atomic nuclei to generate energy, just as the sun does. That’s the opposite of nuclear fission, in which atoms are split. Canadian and British innovators are…

Geothermal research could lead to Alberta solutions to reducing CO2

Engineers, geothermal company partnering to produce clean energy using captured carbon

Geothermal research could lead to Alberta solutions to reducing CO2Developing an ultra-clean source of energy by using carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of water to pump geothermal heat up from deep below the Earth’s surface is one of a list of possibilities behind a new partnership between a team of University of Alberta carbon sequestration engineers and a burgeoning geothermal startup. Alberta No. 1, Alberta’s…

Pressure mounts on OPEC+ from all sides

It is defying oil-consuming nations to increase output, for now

Pressure mounts on OPEC+ from all sidesA tug of war has erupted on the world oil market. Despite growing pressure from major crude-oil consuming nations, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in the expanded OPEC+ announced they would stick to their original plan by increasing output by only 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). OPEC+ members seemed to be…

Abandoning fossil fuels plunging many Europeans into darkness

Natural gas in Europe rising to five times what it was in early 2021

Abandoning fossil fuels plunging many Europeans into darknessBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre With the recent rise in the price of natural gas in Europe to five times where it was in early 2021, expect to see many more Europeans and those in the United Kingdom plunged into what’s known as energy poverty. From Greece to Great Britain, the…

Energy market cool-down sought on multiple fronts

Is Biden getting ready to cave in to Iran to help rein in oil prices?

Energy market cool-down sought on multiple frontsDiplomatic pressure is mounting as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies in OPEC+ prepare to decide their next crude oil output move. Global leaders are assembling in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit this week with considerable unease over increasing gasoline prices. The leaders seem intent on discussing ways to rein in the…

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without it

There is a real opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through decarbonization

Let’s be smarter on carbon capture. We won’t get to net-zero without itCOP26 in Glasgow is likely to call for even more ambitious GHG emission reduction targets than the ones that have been consistently missed by virtually all countries. Canada’s existing target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is daunting enough as is. Strangely, much of the focus of carbon policy has been on reducing the amount…

‘Fly-in, fly-out’ oil sands workers face significant mental health challenges

Time away from home contributes to low morale and difficulty maintaining healthy habits

‘Fly-in, fly-out’ oil sands workers face significant mental health challengesThe mental health of contract workers who fly in and out of Alberta’s oil sands compares poorly with that of the general population, according to a new report co-written by University of Alberta sociologist Sara Dorow. In one of the first studies in Canada to examine mental health and well-being in the fly-in, fly-out (FIFO)…

Ban on hydrocarbons: Quebec is asleep at the well

Quebec turning itself into an object of international ridicule

Ban on hydrocarbons: Quebec is asleep at the wellJust as the world is suffering through a natural gas shortage and prices are soaring, Quebec is thumbing its nose at the chance to become a leader when it comes to locally produced energy. Against all economic and even environmental logic, the Quebec government recently decided to definitively ban fossil fuel exploration and development in…

Oil market turmoil may well benefit consumers

The push and pull of conflicting factions may be providing some relief to consumers

Oil market turmoil may well benefit consumersLast week ended on a calmer note for crude oil markets and major oil-producing countries. Crude oil prices fell slightly as the week ended, finally hovering a little below the recent highs. Forecasts of a warm U.S. winter put some brakes on the price rally that carried the crude markets beyond $86 a barrel early…

Canada missing out on $1.2-trillion EU natural gas market

According to Natural Resources Canada, at the end of 2018 Canada had 73 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven natural gas reserves

Canada missing out on $1.2-trillion EU natural gas marketBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre In 2009, the eastern European country of Ukraine endured a twin lesson in geopolitics and energy security: Russia cut off its natural gas supply in mid-winter. Russia’s public reason was that it was engaged in a pricing dispute with Ukraine. In reality, it was an attempt…

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truths

Movement to reduce global emissions toward net-zero is still too slow

Climate summit forced to confront inconvenient truthsWith the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow scheduled to open on Oct. 31, global powerhouses are coming up with their annual energy outlooks earlier than the customary November. With climate issues coming to the forefront at the COP26 summit, most of these reports and analyses are meant to help world leaders make decisions. But…

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thought

If aspirations and reality collide, always bet on reality

The road to a carbon-free future will be rougher than we thoughtIf you’ve been following international news lately, you’ll have noticed a new development. Europe and Asia are suddenly worried about energy. With winter coming, costs are soaring and there’s even concern about shortages that might trigger industrial shutdowns and endanger people’s ability to heat their homes. From an object of loathing and scorn, fossil fuels…

What happens to climate talks in the face of rising oil prices?

Decision to open the taps and let the markets surge comes just before UN Climate Change Conference

What happens to climate talks in the face of rising oil prices?Rapid moves with long-term ramifications are being made on the global energy chessboard. Early last week, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ opted to stick to their original plan and gradually open the crude oil taps. After their Oct. 4 ministerial meeting, OPEC+ said it had “reconfirmed the production adjustment…

Europe remains dependent on imported oil from repressive states

Its policies on renewable energy mean that dependence will only deepen

Europe remains dependent on imported oil from repressive statesBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre One of the more bizarre developments in Europe in recent years has been the twin policy path in which fossil fuels are discouraged in favour of wind and solar energy, but deals are struck with autocracies such as Russia to import more fossil fuel via pipelines.…

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?

More of the same

What does the Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians?What does another Trudeau win mean for Western Canadians? After all, the actual composition of the House of Commons changed little, and once again, the Liberals will need the support of either the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois to pass legislation. So, for the most part, we can expect a continuation of some programs, including…

Protecting the most vulnerable from the coming energy crisis

We're deluded if we believe that the consequences will only be borne by workers in the oil and gas sector

Protecting the most vulnerable from the coming energy crisisShortly before the election was called, the federal government launched an engagement process to determine how Canadians want to implement a 'Just Transition' to a net-zero carbon economy. To the government, this means developing supports for the oil and gas workers whose livelihoods are being impacted by domestic climate policies. A 'Just Transition Advisory Body'…

Crude oil prices are soaring as production slows

A global energy crunch could help propel prices above US$100 a barrel

Crude oil prices are soaring as production slowsAll eyes are focused on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in OPEC+ as they meet today. With crude oil prices touching US$80 a barrel and prospects of hitting US$100 this winter looming large, markets are on edge. The market trajectory is virtually impossible to delineate. A global energy crunch could help…

What the future of energy looks like

Underpinning it all, like the safety net to a secure supply, will be fossil fuels

What the future of energy looks likeThe kingdom of Queen Elizabeth I was humming along quite nicely when, around the mid-1500s, Her Majesty caught wind of an environmental crisis in the offing. The forests were disappearing. Wood was the first energy source and had been so for millenniums. But kilns of industry and hearths of homes had been eating up the…

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissions

Wind and solar farms replacing the 84% of global energy from fossil fuels is technically impossible

Why wind and solar energy aren’t the answer to reducing global emissionsIn a previous column I pointed out that since switching coal-fuelled power plants to natural gas cuts CO2 emissions in half, exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to displace coal benefits our economy and reduces global emissions. And that since converting gasoline and diesel-fuelled vehicles and ships to natural gas cuts emissions by 25 per cent,…

Finally, an LNG project that just might get built

Rationality can prevail, clean, abundant natural gas can be used for decades, energy ‘transition’ or not

Finally, an LNG project that just might get builtAn estimated $55-billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to take natural gas from northeastern British Columbia to its northwest coast at Pearse Island recently received the blessing and financial and political backing of the Nisga’a First Nation. The First Nation is on the proposed pipeline route and is the site of planned liquefaction terminal. This…

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sector

Alberta program builds skills to take sustainable energy projects from concept to completion

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sectorA new certificate the University of Alberta started offering this fall will help fast-track workers into the province’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate is the first of its kind in Alberta to offer learners the flexibility of online, part-time classes, without admission barriers. It can be completed in as little as…

Canadian oil and gas sector has huge impact in U.S.

The reality is, Canadians have a significant stake in the United States oil and gas industry

Canadian oil and gas sector has huge impact in U.S.By Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre One critical problem for political and business leaders is getting people to think outside their local box. While many people might prefer a local restaurant or coffee shop to a national chain, international trade is the very reason a Canadian restaurant can offer inexpensive vegetables in…

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heat

New materials could harness energy from cellphones or body heat, and improve solar power, geothermal

Materials harvest electricity from wasted heatExtra heat is generated from any form of energy conversion – even with something as green as solar panels. But with up to 72 per cent of it left unused, there’s also great potential to harvest electricity from that waste. A University of Alberta researcher has successfully developed a way to figure out the chemistry…
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