Natural gas from coal in Alberta Position Paper, CAPP doesn’t like the name coalbed methane or hydraulic fracturing referred to as an experiment. Too bad for them (lying bullies).

Natural gas from coal in Alberta Position Paper by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, September 2003

[Paper removed by CAPP, so uploaded to this website for the public interest]

In order to more accurately reflect the fact that coalbed methane is simply a form of natural gas and will be developed in a similar manner, CAPP recommends that “coalbed methane” be referred to as “natural gas from coal.”


1. The EUB, DOE, CAPP and Industry should adopt the phrase “natural gas from coal” instead of “coalbed methane;” the Act and the regulations should be amended by replacing the phrase “coalbed methane” with the phrase “natural gas from coal” and a definition of that term should be added to the Act.

2. The Act should be amended to declare that NGC is natural gas and should explicitly state that it is retroactive.

EUB should be more critical in its assessment of whether a party will be directly or adversely affected in deciding whether the party should be given standing regarding a particular application

EUB should allow the technical details within applications for holdings to be kept confidential for a period of two years.

CAPP recognizes that the handling and disposal of produced water, whether by treatment and release to the watershed or subsurface disposal, must be carefully planned. … If usable water is encountered, restrictions on its production and use are imposed by current Alberta Environment regulations for conservation purposes. For example, usable water production from an aquifer is limited to one producing formation (or coal seam) at a time and is subject to pressure drawdown restrictions. These limitations make it impractical to attempt to depressure a target coal group to achieve commercial volumes of NGC production. CAPP recommends that under circumstances where usable water was intended to be produced for the purpose of depressuring coals to produce NGC, that a multi-ministry, “one–window” approach be developed for licensing and regulation through the EUB.

There are an increasing number of stakeholders that have been raising questions and concerns about the development of NGC. … There also seems to be a misconception held by some people that the designation of a project as “experimental” means that it poses a higher risk to the public. CAPP, along with other key government and community stakeholders (e.g. EUB, DOE, and the Alberta Departments of Sustainable Resource Development and Agriculture, Food and Rural Development) should develop a consolidated public education and consultation campaign to clarify the issues surrounding development of NGC. Such a campaign would have to engage community members and municipal governments that may be impacted by NGC development, as well as the media. The challenge will be to create an awareness of the fact that NGC simply involves the exploration and production of natural gas in a different reservoir situation, namely a gas reservoir in a coal seam, and requires different production techniques.


27. CAPP will develop and implement a consolidated public education and consultation campaign in coordination with the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas (CSUG) and other key government and community stakeholders.

28. The government of Alberta should coordinate with the government of British Columbia regarding replacement of the phrase “experimental scheme”…. 

Refer also to:

Looking Ahead to 2010:  Natural Gas Markets in Transition by the National Energy Board, Cat. No. NE23-118/2004E, ISBN 0-662-37107-0, August 2004

There are currently about two dozen pilot projects to develop CBM across the WCSB and some participants noted that about 1,000 CBM wells will be drilled this year, resulting in an expected 100 MMcf/d (2.8 million m3/day) of production.  While it is too early to accurately assess this emerging supply source, the Board’s scenarios for CBM supply also indicate about 100 MMcf/d in 2004, consistent with actual production to-date.

To-date, there has been mixed success.  In attempting to develop CBM, some projects have experienced fresh or salt water production which presents additional challenges with water disposal and tends to increase costs and impact gas production.  Other projects have focused on dry coals that produce gas with no water.  Considering the variability of coals, the range of success amongst existing pilot projects, and the very early stage of CBM development in Canada, there is still significant uncertainty surrounding the future of CBM development.

The Horseshoe Canyon play in south-central Alberta was described as an example where developments have been positive.  Ultimately, some 50,000 wells may be needed to recover the CBM from this area alone.  The drilling risk in CBM development is relatively low due to the widespread deposits of known gas resources and drilling programs typically involve a large number of wells and high drilling density to achieve economies of scale.

Several participants have characterized the exploitation of these resources as a “manufacturing process”.  At the same time, some concern was expressed by CBM producers over their ability to obtain timely regulatory approval for the large numbers of wells that may be required to develop CBM.  It was suggested that a new regulatory framework may be beneficial, and that regulators could consider a “blanket approach” to approve drilling programs for this type of development.

ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS [Do you see any landowner, social justice, health, community or environmental participants? ]
Organization  Participants
Agrium Inc.  Chris  Tworek
Alberta Department of Energy  Colin  Carrigy
Alberta Department of Energy  Barry  Rodgers
Alberta Energy and Utilities Board  Jim  Dilay
Association québécoise des utilisateurs industriels d’électricité Luc  Boulanger
ATCO Pipelines  Bruce McRae
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies  Dr. Thomas Tucker
B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines  Stirling  Bates
B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines  Ines   Piccinino
BP Canada Energy Company  Stan   Penchuk
British Columbia Utilities Commission  Brian  Williston
Calpine Canada  David Sterna
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers  Greg  Stringham
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers  Mark  Pinney
Canadian Chemical Producers Association  David Goffin
Canadian Electricity Association  Hans  Konow
Canadian Energy Research Institute  Paul  Mortensen
Canadian Energy Research Institute  Matt  Ayres
Canadian Gas Association  Bryan Gormley
Cargill Power & Gas Markets  Mark  Stach
Central Heat Distribution Limited  John  Barnes
CIBC World Markets Inc.  Andrew Potter
Consultant  Julie  Girvan
Consumers’ Association of Canada – Alberta Chapter  James A.  Wachowich
Corridor Resources Inc.  Norm Miller
Direct Energy Marketing  Tony  Zaremba
Direct Energy Marketing Ltd.  Pascale  Duguay
Dofasco Inc.   Paul  Smith
Domtar Inc.  Josée  Latreille
Duke Energy  Denis Marcoux
Duke Energy Gas Transmission  Greg  Staple
Duke Energy Gas Transmission  Troy  Adams
Emera Energy Inc.  Ian  Johnston
Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.  Dave  Charleson
Enbridge Gas New Brunswick  Rock  Marois
Enbridge Gas New Brunswick  Shelley  Black
Encana Corporation  Steve  Brink
Encana Corporation  Paul  Gagné
Energy Probe  Tom  Adams
EPCOR  Fred  Shafai
EPCOR  Glen  Hensbergen
Falconbridge Limited  Lauri  Gregg
Gaz Métropolitain Inc.  Normand Stevenson
Gaz Métropolitain Inc.  Johanne  Paquin
Hydro-Québec  Suzanne Boisclair
Industrial Gas Users Association  Peter  Fournier
Imperial Oil  James Hughes
Inco Limited  John  LeMay
Industrial Gas Consumers Association of Alberta  Norm MacMurchy
Irving Oil Limited  Mark  Brown
Ispat Sidbec Inc.  Jean-Paul Schaack
Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline Management Limited Steve  Rankin
Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline Management Limited Ian  Leadley
MGV Energy Inc.  George Voneiff
Ministère des Ressources naturelles, faune et parcs  Ronald Richard
Natural Gas Exchange Inc.  Peter  Krenkel
Natural Gas Steering Committee  Daniel Potts
Natural Resources Canada  John  Foran
New Brunswick Department of Energy  Jean  Finn
New Brunswick Department of Energy  Jim  Knight
NB Power  Michael Bourque
NB Power  Rick   McGivney
NB Power  Bill  Marshall
New Brunswick Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities John  Lawton
New Brunswick Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities Doug  Goss
Noranda Inc.  Denis Coté
Norsk Hydro Canada  Michel Brouillette
Nova Chemicals (Canada ) Ltd.  Mike  Elliott
Nova Scotia Department of Energy  Bill  O’Halloran
Nova Scotia Power Inc.  Angela Trenholm
Ontario Energy Association  Bernard Jones
Ontario Energy Board  Mark  Garner
Ontario Energy Board  Hima  Desai
Ontario Ministry of Energy  Dr. Bryne Purchase
Ontario Power Generation  Paul J. Burke
Régie de l’énergie   Robert Meunier
Shell Canada Limited  Larry  Marks
Tembec Inc.  Paul  Dottori
Terasen Gas Inc.  Doug  Stout
TransAlta Corporation  Will  Bridge
TransCanada Pipelines Limited  Hank  Petranik
TransCanada Pipelines Limited  Bill  Langford
Union Gas Limited  Steve  Baker
Union Gas Limited  Mark  Isherwood
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.   Dave  Humber
WPS Energy Services, Inc.   Claude Morneault

Look what an industry CEO publicly admits seven years later:

Yup, frac’ing is an experiment, a brute force and ignorant one, whether in coal or shale.

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