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Assessing Western Canada's Readiness to Compete in an Emerging Hydrogen Economy


Western Canada has a challenge. And an opportunity.


The challenge is that due to global focus on reducing greenhouse gases, fluctuating prices and demand for fossil fuels, and increased public scrutiny on the oil and gas industry in general, it is necessary for us to look for new ways to diversify and respond to these ongoing pressures.


The opportunity is that beneath our feet sits the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Its rich hydrocarbon deposits have been at the heart of our industry for decades. So, now, as we look for the next promising innovation in our evolving energy economy, there it sits…the “hydro” in hydrocarbons: hydrogen.


Why hydrogen?

As an energy source, hydrogen offers numerous benefits. Key among them is the promise of low to no carbon emissions through blue and green extraction techniques. And, while the idea of hydrogen as an alternate energy source is still in its infancy, Western Canada is poised to take charge and be a leader in this global transition.


Why Western Canada?

We are fortunate in Western Canada to have not only one of the world’s richest basins in our backyard, but we also have decades of expertise and a history of innovation when it comes to hydrocarbon extraction.


And, we also have over 683,000 kilometers of pipelines, 827,000 wells, and 198,000 oil and gas facilities, many of which can be repurposed as we begin the transition to hydrogen as an alternate energy source.


The combination of all of these…our extensive history, our people, our technology, and the infrastructure and resources that already exist in our region, put us in a unique position to embark on this transition without sacrificing our existing fossil fuel economy.


As the experts in understanding Western Canadian oil and gas infrastructure for more than 20 years, GDM Pipelines has begun the process of analyzing current infrastructure to determine which assets can be used, both in the short and long term, to transport hydrogen.


In our paper, Assessing Western Canada’s Readiness to Compete in an Emerging Hydrogen Economy, we identify the journey that will lead us to an energy transition, from Supplemental Blending at low concentrations (up to 5% H2 by volume), through to a pure hydrogen economy. We evaluate the readiness of current infrastructure, as well as considerations for safety, the environment, integrity management, and regulatory concerns. We also take a deeper dive into the requirements for assessing infrastructure to determine suitability to take on higher percentages of hydrogen, and what this will mean for end users, both now and in the future.


We invite you to download our paper and become part of the conversation about this new and exciting direction for the oil and gas industry in Western Canada.