Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), Natural Resources Canada, NRCan, has not undertaken economic modelling of the effect of a carbon price on natural gas consumption in Canada.
With regard to (b), NRCan, in its lead role on groundwater, focuses on developing and publicly disseminating information and tools that assist and support water managers in the relevant jurisdictions as they design and implement water management frameworks. The NRCan groundwater program develops novel approaches to characterize aquifers in terms of location, size and dynamics, and collaborates with partners on the assessment of key regional aquifers. These assessments and the underlying methodologies can be used to inform sustainable water policies and practices throughout the country, including in areas of potential interest for shale gas development. NRCan is not, however, directly involved in groundwater projects specifically related to use of groundwater.
For further information, members may visit the program's website at http://ess.nrcan.gc.ca/gm/index_e.php.
Publications are available through GEOSCAN at http://geoscan.ess.nrcan.gc.ca/starweb/geoscan/servlet.starweb?path=geoscan/geoscan_e.web.
With regard to (c), the Oil and Gas Policy and Regulatory Affairs Division’s annual working paper, “Canadian Crude Oil, Natural Gas and Petroleum Products: Review of 2009 & Outlook to 2030”, found at http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/eneene/sources/crubru/revrev/index-eng.php, includes NRCan’s most recently published natural gas price and production consensus forecasts.
With regard to (d), analysts at NRCan monitor intelligence and analysis on the state of carbon capture and storage, CCS, costs for natural gas processing. Natural gas processing facilities separate and capture CO2 from raw natural gas as part of the normal gas processing process, enabling cost-effective high-purity streams of CO2 to be available for CCS. From a cost perspective, as separation of CO2 is already part of natural gas processing operations, there are no incremental costs associated with CO2 capture. Since capture is the largest component of the total CCS cost, additional expenditures associated with CO2 compression, transport and storage result in much lower overall CCS costs for natural gas processing.
Globally, CCS at natural gas processing has also been identified as a low-cost opportunity. For example, in the International Energy Agency's Technology Roadmaps--Carbon Capture and Storage, costs of CCS at natural gas processing facilities were cited at a range of approximately $15-$25 USD/ton CO2 avoided. In addition, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute recently published costs in the same range, $19/ton CO2 avoided, with the explanation that such industrial processes already include a CO2 separation/capture process in their base operation.
With regard to (e), section 92 of the Constitution Act of 1982 dictates that the provinces have ownership over the natural resources that lie within their boundaries and are responsible for the regulation of resource development. As such, NRCan does not take a formal position on changes to disclosure rules, since they do not fall under the purview of our jurisdiction.
With regard to (f), as noted in the response to question (e), it is the provinces, not NRCan, that have jurisdictional authority over hydrocarbon resources--e.g., natural gas--contained within provincial borders. As a result, NRCan does not take a formal position on “pauses” or moratoria, other than that the department respects the decisions made by the provinces. NRCan’s role is to contribute scientific information used in making exploration, resource management and environmental protection decisions by the provinces.
With regard to (g), while NRCan provides expertise and support to Environment Canada on climate change issues related to the oil and gas sector, including natural gas, NRCan has not considered the role of natural gas in reaching the government's greenhouse gas target.
The department has supported internal and external analyses on natural gas in vehicles, natural gas for electricity production in lieu of coal-fired generation in the North America context, and the potential to export natural gas globally.