Natural gas and oil are distributed throughout the world. However, there is an interesting fact that only one-third of the earth’s surface is covered with sedimentary deposits, from which oil is produced. Over the years, geologists have developed more precise adjustment methods and special tools. Nevertheless, the search for oil remains akin to a gambling game, as even new technologies cannot predict where natural gas and oil are.
Most large gas and oil deposits were formed in sedimentary basins. Thanks to the use of new technologies, people in Alberta have the opportunity to use gas. For more information, please visit the website edmonton-future.
The first gas pipeline
In Alberta, gas pipelines span 422,000 kilometers. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first gas pipeline was laid at the Bow Island No. 1 well site.
Bow Island was discovered in 1909 and became Canada’s largest gas well site.
By 1912, a 16-inch pipeline, 270 kilometers long, was built to Lethbridge and Calgary. It took 86 days to complete the construction, which was done by manual labor, as there were no trucks or earthmoving equipment at that time.
The Bow Island pipeline delivered gas to Lethbridge within a week. Over 12,000 residents of Alberta participated in the opening ceremony of the pipeline, which included the lighting of torches.
Development of the oil and gas industry
Before 1945, about half of the towns, except for major urban centers such as Edmonton, were not connected to the natural gas supply due to a lack of pipelines or safety concerns. Despite significant new reserves discovered in the following decade, development remained stranded without pipelines and transport the gas to the market.
In 1950, Alberta’s authorities built the necessary transportation infrastructure for the oil industry. The Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company AGTL has played a major role in this infrastructure.
The Alberta Gas Trunk Line (AGTL) Company was established by the provincial government to maintain control over Alberta’s natural gas resources. Although the Alberta Petroleum and Natural Gas Conservation Board recently allowed exports, any pipeline that crosses provincial or US borders falls under federal jurisdiction. To stop the federal government, the authorities had to create a line to collect gas from wells across the province and deliver it to border crossings.
In 1954, Prime Minister Ernest Manning developed a plan for the Alberta legislature that called for the creation of a provincial crown corporation to develop, own, and operate a liquefied natural gas pipeline.
After some time, it was granted the special right to transport gas within the province, which allowed them to collect gas from different well sites and transport it for domestic and export use, both within and outside Alberta and Canada.
The first pipeline for this system was laid in 1956, and in 1957 the company began collecting and delivering gas. It was partially financed by the government and public share sales to residents of Alberta. Each customer received certain restrictions. The pipeline system became one of the largest in the world, spanning over 3057 km.
Over the years, AGTL has grown into a large business operating pipelines, producing petrochemicals, and refining oil among other investors. Its efforts were highlighted by a name change in 1980 to NOVA Corporation. It was later acquired by TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. privately held but publicly regulated company.
Unconventional gas sources
One of the main sources of unconventional gas with great potential in Alberta is coalbed methane or natural gas from coal. Coalbed methane is the same natural gas found in coal. Thus, coal is both a source rock and a reservoir rock. It is attractive to oil researchers because, unlike most of Alberta’s natural gas, it does not contain toxic hydrogen sulfide.
Research on it began in Canada in 1990, and it has been officially produced and used since 2000. Estimates show that there are large deposits of this unconventional gas source in Alberta.