International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Brazilian and the Canadian oil & gas industries : similarities, differences, challenges and perspectives for a sustainable industry Aragao, Rodrigo R.; El-Diraby, Tamer


The Brazilian and the Canadian Oil and Gas industries are facing similar challenges now: both countries are developing huge oil fields; as a result, companies, governments and policy makers have started to invest escalating resources in projects and regulations. These efforts have provided both countries with a significant increase in their oil production. Brazil discovered the Pre-Salt field, located off its Southeastern coast, what resulted in complex technical researches whose outcome will guarantee a safer and more environmentally friendly production. The oil sands in the western Canada, along with the shale formations, despite the abundance, have been utterly criticized by environmentalists who report the possible impacts of the methods used to extract the oil. This paper aims to analyze the similarities, differences and challenges that both countries have to confront. In addition, as many companies in other sectors, the oil and gas industry has taken the initiative to demonstrate that their activities are in accordance with the best practices of sustainability by seeking the optimal efficiency in water consumption, energy and waste management; as well as minimizing carbon emissions to reduce the greenhouse effect. Nevertheless, the oil and gas industry still has to face the common sense that their activities cannot be innovated to reduce environmental impacts and therefore be aligned with the best sustainable practices. Analogous to the movement that has led the AEC industry to create the “green buildings”, two proposals on how to address the sustainability of these projects is presented.

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