Major Gas Deposits
deposits underlie a large portion of Albertaroughly 40 percent of the total
province. Areas with major gas producing fields and more intensive activity are
located near Drayton Valley, Fox Creek, Medicine Hat-Suffield, Turner
Valley-Jumping Pound, Waterton and Caroline.
As of 1996,
Alberta's known natural gas reserves were estimated to be 1378 billion cubic
metres. However, Alberta's total natural gas reserves may be as high as 5,600
billion cubic metres.
There are two
basic types of natural gas in Albertasweet and sour gas. The term
"sour" is applied to gas containing a high concentration of hydrogen
sulphide. Natural gas containing little or no hydrogen sulphide is termed "sweet."
Sour gas is typically found in deep, hot, high-pressure natural gas deposits,
such as those in the foothills and eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in
Alberta. About one-third of Alberta's gas production contains hydrogen sulphide,
and the province accounts for nearly 90 percent of Canada's total sour gas
production. The majority of the sulphur content is removed in processing. It is
then stockpiled as elemental sulphur, which is sold principally for producing
Department of the Environment. State of the Environment Report, Terrestrial Ecosystems. Edmonton: n.p., 2001. With permission from Alberta Environment.