Natural gas is a clean, affordable energy source that is readily available in urban Ontario. OFA believes natural gas expansion to farms and rural communities should be top priority when it comes to investing in infrastructure in rural Ontario. Affordable natural gas is the single most important investment that will give farms, businesses and rural residents the competitive edge to drive growth.
OFA is working with provincial government, industry and gas distribution companies to develop a fair and equitable way to install new natural gas pipeline across rural Ontario every year for the next 20 years.
Energy is one of the largest inputs on farms, and a significant cost to rural residents and local business owners. If natural gas was available across the province, it could save Ontario farmers, business owners and rural residents more than $1 billion in annual energy costs. New rural gas pipeline infrastructure will also enable rural agricultural communities to produce clean biogas and renewable natural gas for pipeline delivery. Expanding affordable, accessible natural gas to farms and rural Ontario will dramatically boost business opportunities by significantly lowering energy costs.
Rural Ontario needs access to natural gas infrastructure to provide reliable and affordable energy options for farms and rural businesses. The expansion of natural gas throughout rural Ontario is the single most important investment the Ontario government can make to support thriving farm and rural businesses.
On-Farm Oil & Gas Wells
Many people in Ontario are surprised to learn that Ontario has an oil and gas sector. In fact, the North American petroleum industry has its beginnings in Lambton County in 1858. Since then, as many as 50,000 oil and gas wells may have been drilled in Ontario. Another little-known aspect of the petroleum industry in Ontario is that some farmers and rural property owners have their private gas well, or wells, which provide them with natural gas.
Under Ontario’s Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act, rural property owners can operate a “private gas well” to provide gas to heat their home, barn, shop, etc.
OFA supports the right of rural property owners to operate a “private gas well” and further believes these private gas wells should not in any way compromise public health, safety or environmental standards.
A number of private wells were initially drilled and operated as commercial gas wells, and were subsequently sold to the land owners where they were located when they ceased to produce commercially-viable amounts of natural gas.
OFA believes that the siting requirements for these wells should be based on those in effect when the well was drilled. Ontario farmers with a private gas well should be able to use and access the gas produced from their well or wells, in any way they chose; e.g. to heat one’s greenhouse, shop, livestock/poultry barn or to fuel a non-commercial grain dryer in addition to domestic household use.
Since 2012, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has offered an incentive program to owners of private gas wells, to upgrade their private well, or fund the plugging of wells no longer being used.
For more information:
Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90p12
Regulation 245/97: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/970245
NNRF Private Gas Well Incentive Program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/private-gas-well-incentive-program