6 ways your life would be different without oil and gas

You probably already know that oil and gas products fuel cars and heat homes – 94 per cent of transportation demand in Canada is supplied by refined petroleum products and more than half of Canadian homes are heated by natural gas.

But in what other ways are crude oil and natural gas products part of your everyday life?

Canadians are answering this question through a new website, letskeepcanadamoving.ca. We’ve combined some of their ideas with some other examples to create this list of six ways your life could be different without the energy moved by pipelines.

Energy fact: 97 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil production is moved by transmission pipelines.

1. Your morning routine would change 

What do you do first in the morning? Brush your teeth? Go for a run? The materials in toothbrushes and running shoes are made from petrochemicals produced when petroleum is refined.

What about your mid-morning snack? You might not be able to eat your favourite B.C. gala apples because the agricultural industry relies on trains and trucks to get “our fruits and vegetables from the farmers’ fields to our kitchen tables,” said Albertan Michael Ervin. (Get more of Michael’s story)

2. You would have to rethink your wardrobe

If you love your wrinkle-free shirt, you can probably thank oil delivered by pipelines. Materials used to make nylon, elastic, rayon, polyester and even “permanent press” items come from petroleum. If you wear glasses, the lenses and frames were probably made using a derivative of crude oil.

Did you know? There are over 6,000 products that are made from petroleum.

3. Your health may be affected 

Think of your last trip to the doctor’s office or hospital. Did your doctor or nurse use latex gloves or disposable syringes? These are petroleum products. Even heart valves and artificial limbs couldn’t be produced without oil and gas.

How would it affect our health if we didn’t have these life saving health products?

4. You would have to cancel your trip to Paris

About 10 per cent of every barrel of oil is used for jet fuel to power airplanes and helicopters.

Petroleum is needed to power airplanes, but it is also helping to make air travel more efficient.

“Airplanes use less fuel today because they are lighter, and they’re lighter because they use polymers made from hydrocarbons,” said Andre Brunell from Montreal. (Read Andre’s story)

How would your life be different if you couldn’t travel by plane?

5. You wouldn’t be reading this blog post 

That’s right – the plastics used to make electronics such as computers and phones are made with petrochemicals. Without oil and gas, you may have to resort to using a carrier pigeon.

6. You would have a different understanding of the universe

According to NASA, “a space shuttle’s large external tank is loaded with more than 500,000 gallons of super-cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, which are mixed and burned together to form the fuel for the orbiter’s three main rocket engines.”

This hydrogen is derived from petroleum. How would your idea of the solar system be different without knowledge discovered thanks to space exploration?

Share your perspective

“Resource development is an environmental issue, a social issue, an economic issue, a land-rights issue. It also pays for health care, and schools, and roads. It creates jobs and supports communities,” said Brian Lacey from Edmonton.

Brian and other Canadians are sharing their perspective on the pipeline industry. Read their stories and share your own. Tell us what role pipelines and the energy they transport play in your daily life by visiting letskeepcanadamoving.ca, or share your story on social media using the hashtag #keepCAmoving.


The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 115,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2013, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.