There are many types of oil and natural gas – and Canada has them all.

Natural Gas

  • Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon consisting primarily of methane. It may also contain small amounts of ethane, propane, butane and pentanes.
  • Conventional natural gas is easier to produce than unconventional gas, which includes tight gas, coal bed methane, shale gas and gas hydrates (a possible future source).
  • Most of the growth in supply from today’s recoverable gas resources is found in unconventional formations, made accessible by innovative technologies including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

Crude Oil

  • Crude oil is a black, brownish or amber liquid that is a complex mix of hydrocarbons. It consists of carbon, hydrogen, sulphur, nitrogen, oxygen and metals.
  • Conventional crude oil flows relatively easily through a well or pipeline.
  • Heavy oil is a more dense, viscous oil, with a high proportion of bitumen that is difficult to extract with conventional techniques.
  • Oil sands are a thick mixture of bitumen, water, sand, heavy metals and clay.
  • Tight oil trapped in formations of low porosity and permeability (like shale), requires horizontal drilling and stimulation such as hydraulic fracturing.

Source: CSUR

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