Tourmaline Oil Corporation—a natural gas and oil exploration and production company operating in Western Canada—is Canada’s second-largest natural gas producer.16
Tourmaline’s business plan involves increased production of natural gas in Canada, putting it on our list as a top emitter. Extracting natural gas in its Montney play and Alberta Deep Basin holdings requires the application of hydraulic fracturing (fracking)—a method that has serious negative consequences for the environment and nearby communities.
Head office: Calgary, Alberta
Locations of operation: Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, Alberta and British Columbia (BC)
Revenue: C$1.9 billion17
Assets: C$10.2 billion 18
Reserves: 184,745,000 oil bbl, 5,225,742 gas MMcf19
Production: oil, natural gas liquids and oil sands: 38,737 bbl/d; natural gas: 1,221.529 MMcf/d; total: 242,325 boe/d20
Employees: 237 employees.21
Memberships: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Explorers and Producers Association of Canada
Tourmaline was created in 2008 by Mike Rose, founder of Duvernay Oil and Berkley Petroleum.1 Tourmaline has grown significantly since its creation, acquiring assets from 15 oil and gas sites, eight subsidiary amalgamations, and two firms remaining under its control: Exshaw Oil Corp., based in Alberta, and the Tourmaline Oil Marketing Corp., based in Delaware, US.2
Tourmaline continues to expand “an aggressive exploration, development, production and acquisition program,”3 including a 2016 asset acquisition from Shell Canada in northeastern BC valued at C$1.4 billion.4 Its flurry of acquisitions bring its total landholdings in Western Canada to nearly 2.2 million acres.5
Tourmaline continues to expand “an aggressive exploration, development, production and acquisition program,” including a 2016 asset acquisition from Shell Canada in northeastern BC valued at C$1.4 billion. Its flurry of acquisitions bring its total landholdings in Western Canada to nearly 2.2 million acres.
|Capital Group Companies Inc.||US||10.03|
|CI Financial Corp.||CA||7.61|
|Michael L. Rose||CA||4.52|
|Power Corporation of Canada||CA||2.48|
|Vanguard Group Inc.||US||2.24|
|Province of Québec||CA||2.17|
|Royal Bank of Canada||CA||2.00|
|Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.||CA||1.23|
|Sailingstone GP LP||US||1.20|
|Dimensional Fund Advisors LP||US||1.06|
Included are all shareholdings of 1% and greater. Source: Orbis Database, October 2018.
Tourmaline’s “aggressive” plan for sustaining growth involves both acquiring new assets and increasing efficiency in its three regions of production—despite its acknowledgement of the societal need to lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change.6
Tourmaline’s steep growth trend—the company grew its liquid oil and gas production by 64 per cent in 2017—focuses on the expansion of low-cost production in three regions: the Alberta Deep Basin, the Montney play in northeastern BC and the Peace River Triassic Oil Complex.7
Tourmaline is the largest producer in the Alberta Deep Basin in southern Alberta, where natural gas fracking and production represents over 50 per cent of the company’s production and capital costs. To date it has drilled at over 6,000 drilling locations in the region, resulting in over 534 well sites.8 It also has ownership stakes in 13 natural gas plants (10 of which are wholly owned and operated).9
The western flank of BC’s Montney play provides another region of expanding exploration and production for the company. Tourmaline is one of the largest companies fracking in the region, with 300 natural gas wells in addition to condensate and crude oil operations.10 With over 4,000 drilling locations set to be drilled in the future, Tourmaline’s operations in the Montney are slated to increase substantially. The company also owns five processing plants in the region, with another projected to be in operation in 2019.11
Tourmaline’s third core area, the Peace River Triassic Oil Complex, is located in the Spirit River–Mulligan–Earring region of Alberta, where the company extracts from over 250 fracking wells, producing over 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of oil and natural gas. It also owns a sour gas processing facility in the region. With over 2,000 locations for future oil and gas drilling in the area, it is another site of expansion for the company.12
Natural Gas as “Clean” Energy
Tourmaline suggests that its natural-gas-focused business model is inherently doing its part to protect the climate: it claims that natural gas is half as emissions intensive as coal—meaning that its use can play a role in mitigating climate change by lessening demand on higher-carbon fuels.13 This argument has been widely challenged throughout the scientific community:14 a relative abundance of one fuel source does not necessarily lead to decreased use of other sources elsewhere. Furthermore, research suggests that the global warming impacts of natural gas may be significantly higher than industry-touted statistics often show—potentially even exceeding the warming impacts of coal.15
Learn more about Tourmaline Oil Corporation at LittleSis.org
The intent of the Corporate Mapping Project database is to engage Canadians in a conversation about the role of the fossil fuel sector in our democracy, by “mapping” how power and influence play out in the oil, gas and coal industries of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Dan Healing, “Tourmaline IPO: Pricing of Shares Values Calgary Firm at About $2.2B,” Calgary Herald, November 17, 2010, https://www.pressreader.com/canada/calgary-herald/20101117/289661185504012.