Shale gas and tight oil are revolutionizing world energy markets. New drilling methods and technologies have suddenly given North America access to vast deposits of oil and natural gas stored in shale and tight rock formations. These resources, largely inaccessible only a decade ago, represent a significant source of economic growth, jobs and tax revenue. While many of the processes and technologies used in the development of shale gas and tight oil are known and have been used for years, there remains a range of pressing questions to address. As a first step, more collaborative research is needed to understand and mitigate the potential environmental and health-related impacts that may result from extraction.

In March 2015, the Public Policy Forum brought together private, public, non-profit and academic leaders in Ottawa to identify research and development (R&D) partnership opportunities to better understand Canada’s shale energy industry challenges. This report synthesizes the roundtable discussion and proposes a path forward for governments, industry and Canadians. With this report, the Forum does not aim to provide a scientific assessment of shale energy development. Rather, this report presents practical solutions in plain language that stakeholders can implement to improve Canada’s shale energy industry through R&D partnerships and other means.

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