Quebec begins oil exploitation

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The Government of Quebec has just announced that it is moving forward with an oil development project on Anticosti Island. The project, aimed at confirming the oil potential estimated at a few billion barrels, could make Quebec an oil producer.
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After several years of debate, oil exploitation will indeed take place in Anticosti.
“Two agreements have thus been signed with the companies Pétrolia, Corridor Resources, Junex and the French oil company Maurel & Prom for the realization of two exploration programs which will each take place in two phases. "
Source: La Presse
“From 15 to 18 wells will be drilled this summer on Anticosti Island, to determine if it is possible to exploit the oil there. The exploratory phase escapes the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE), which worries environmentalists. "
Source: Radio-Canada
In the following activities, students will discover the oil potential of Quebec as well as the main oil-producing countries.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Know where the oil used in Quebec comes from;
- Identify a recent headline concerning the future of oil in Quebec;
- Understand the oil exploration project on Anticosti Island;
- Locate Anticosti on Google Maps and name what is found on this island;
- Discover places in the world where the exploitation of hydrocarbons causes controversy;
- Summarize the challenges of oil exploitation on Anticosti Island by comparing with other cases elsewhere in the world;
- Locate the main oil producing countries on a world map;
- Reflect on the issues concerning the production of hydrocarbons in the world.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Oil in Quebec

First, ask the students if they know where the petroleum their parents regularly put in their cars comes from. Does it come mainly from Alberta, according to them?
To find out where the oil consumed in Quebec comes from, observe the following diagram:

Sources:        Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Statistics Canada

Click on the image to enlarge.

Now have students identify a headline that lately has assumed that Quebec could achieve “energy independence”.
Invite them to read the following article on oil exploitation which will begin soon on Anticosti Island.
Quebec begins oil exploration on Anticosti
La Presse, February 13, 2014
Ask students the following questions:
- When will drilling start in Anticosti?
- What are the potential benefits of Anticosti oil exploitation?
- What are the two environmental groups who dispute this announcement?
Finally, use Google maps in order to locate Anticosti Island in Quebec and ask the students to identify what is found in quantity on this island (answer: white-tailed deer!).

Click on the image to enlarge.


ACTIVITY 2: The exploitation of hydrocarbons, a controversial subject

All over the world, the exploitation of hydrocarbons such as oil or shale gas is the cause of much debate. Thanks to the following press extracts, discover different places in the world where the exploitation of hydrocarbons is causing controversy.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in ActivInspire format (.flipchart)
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

The announcement of oil exploitation in Anticosti also arouses a lot of reactions. Invite students to discover the issue of oil exploitation on Anticosti Island by consulting the articles in the following file:
Quebec, an oil producer?
Radio-Canada, February 19, 2014
Finally, in teams, the students will have to summarize the situation at Anticosti using presentation software of their choice. They will have to present the economic, social and environmental issues of Anticosti and also present another case of hydrocarbon exploitation elsewhere in the world which is causing controversy.

ACTIVITY 3: Oil exploitation in the world

On a world map, locate the top 20 oil producing countries, according to the List of countries by oil production from Wikipedia.
Then think about the distribution of oil on the planet. Have students find pictures and articles that discuss the distribution of hydrocarbons around the world and ask the following questions to help them identify issues related to this topic.
- Can it be said that oil production is mainly concentrated in countries that are potentially politically unstable or subject to monarchical or authoritarian regimes?
- Is there a gap between Europe and the North American continent?
Are the main hydrocarbon producing countries those which consume the most?

More about the magazine

The words of petroleum
Radio-Canada, March 26, 2013
Anticosti: a huge natural and petroleum treasure
Radio-Canada, March 25, 2013
Manifesto for the exploitation of petroleum in Quebec
Radio-Canada, January 8, 2014

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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