QUÉBEC CITY—The significant oil and gas reserves recently identified on Quebec’s Anticosti Island are “economically viable” and “technically and environmentally feasible,” according to numerous studies undertaken by the government of Quebec as part of a Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Anticosti is a large, sparsely populated island located in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It contains the Macasty Shale formation, an area geologically similar to the already-developed Utica and Pleasant Point shale formations in Ohio.
Surveyors have determined the formation could produce a total of 11,683 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 584 million barrels of oil over a 75 year period. During peak production it is estimated the project could account for 113 per cent of Quebec’s natural gas needs and 9 per cent of its oil requirements. In addition to creating jobs, the project is an attractive option for the province, as it currently imports $13.5 billion worth of hydrocarbons annually, a figure that amounts to 61 per cent of the its commercial trade deficit.
The assessment noted fully developing the project would impact the province’s greenhouse gas emissions targets by less than 2 per cent. Anticosti Island’s development is still likely to face heavy opposition from environmental groups, however.
The potential project will now enter the public hearing stage before a regulatory decision is made next year.