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Alberta’s Oil Sands A Vision for the Future. Steps to Development in the Oil Sands 1.A private company purchases mineral rights for a specific area.

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Presentation on theme: "Alberta’s Oil Sands A Vision for the Future. Steps to Development in the Oil Sands 1.A private company purchases mineral rights for a specific area."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alberta’s Oil Sands A Vision for the Future


3 Steps to Development in the Oil Sands 1.A private company purchases mineral rights for a specific area. 2.The company consults with First Nations group in the area 3.The company makes an application for development to the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), which regulates safe, responsible and efficient development of Alberta’s energy resources. 4.An environmental impact assessment, water use request and socio- economic impact study are submitted by the developer to the Alberta government. 5.Public hearings may be held 6.A decision on the project application is made in the public’s interest by the ERCB. 7.If approved, development proceeds based on terms set out in the project approval 8.Annual reporting and 10-year renewal required

4 Alberta’s Petroleum Power Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin lies under almost all of Alberta Alberta’s petroleum resources include crude oil, heavy oil, oil sands & natural gas Alberta has the 2nd largest crude oil reserves in the world Alberta produces 68% of Canada’s crude oil & 78% of its natural gas In 2006, about 17,000 oil & gas wells were drilled in Alberta

5 Alberta and the U.S.A. Canada is the largest supplier of energy to the US Over half of Alberta’s oil & gas is exported to the US, supplying markets from New York to California Almost 90% of Alberta's exports go to the US 17 of Alberta's top 20 international export destination are US states US is the source of 2/3 of Alberta's foreign investment Alberta Office in Washington, D.C. (opened in 2005), part of the Canadian Embassy, promotes the province's economic & policy interests

6 Alberta and the World Alberta has the world’s 2nd largest oil reserves Alberta is the world's 3rd largest supplier of natural gas Alberta is the world's 8th largest supplier of crude oil (expected to be 4th by 2015 with oil sands) Over 100 Alberta energy companies are active in more than 110 countries Alberta’s economy ($216 billion in 2005) is comparable in size to Ireland or Finland Alberta businesses exported $90.1 billion worth of goods and services to world markets (2006) Energy resource exports totaled $56.8 billion, about 64% of Alberta's total exports (2006) Calgary is a world energy capital


8 Exports (2005) Crude oil produced in Alberta was sold: 58.5% to the US (meeting about 5% of US demand) 25.3% within Alberta 15.1% to the rest of Canada 1.1% internationally Natural gas produced in Alberta was sold: 49.4% to the US (meeting about 12% of US demand) 26.2% within Alberta 24.4% to the rest of Canada

9 Environmental Protection Current production methods mean that more energy is needed to extract oil from the oil sands compared to conventional oil. But the gap is closing. Technology continues to advance, reducing the energy and environmental impact of oil sands recovery.

10 Protecting the Air In 2007, Alberta became the first in North America to legislate mandatory greenhouse gas reductions for large industrial facilities. Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil & gas) produces emissions of three main greenhouse gases (GHGs) – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane & nitrous oxide Canada ranks 7th among the world’s leading emitters of CO2 1/3 of Canada’s GHGs come from Alberta Since 1990, total GHGs emitted in Alberta have increased by 40%, the 3 rd largest increase behind Saskatchewan (62%) & New Brunswick (47%)

11 Extracting oil from the ground is only part of the entire life cycle of a barrel of oil. The complete life cycle also considers refining, transporting, and consuming the oil. GHGs are emitted at all steps in the lifecycle. In fact, 80% of total emissions come from the end combustion of oil (e.g. out the tailpipe).

12 Air- What’s Being Done Reinjecting CO2 into underground reservoirs: greenhouse gas capture & storage Using conveyors & pipelines instead of trucks to transport oil sands for upgrading: “hydrotransport” Testing pipelines & facilities for fugitive emissions; reporting & repairing leaks Reducing flaring to meet agreed-upon standards Developing a Clean Air Strategy Making a significant investment in renewable energy such as wind power Using solar power for pumps on rigs & wellheads Researching new energy sources, such as biodiesel & nuclear

13 Environmental Protection Protecting the Land Under Alberta’s strict reclamation standards, companies must remediate and reclaim land so it can be productive again. Exploration, production and transportation of petroleum (including oil sands) creates a significant footprint on the Alberta landscape On average, over the last 10 years in Alberta, just 45% of abandoned wells were reclaimed To date only one oil sands site is certified by Alberta Environment as ‘reclaimed’

14 Land- What’s Being Done Reducing footprint: Shrinking size of well pad & width of seismic lines Reducing total number of well pads with directional drilling & super pads Saving & replacing topsoil (overburden) Replanting forests & natural vegetation Sharing access roads with forestry & other industries Bending seismic lines to avoid trees & ensure predators have no clear line of site to their prey


16 Protecting the Water Alberta places strict limits on industry water use. There is a weekly cap on how much water oil sands companies can remove, which is tied to fluctuating flow of the Athabasca River. Limiting withdrawals encourages conservation and ensures healthy aquatic ecosystems. Up to 90% of the water used is recycled. Industry is prohibited from discharging untreated process water. The government’s first priority is water quality for communities downstream. Need 2 to 4 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of oil from oil sands Oil & gas sector is licensed to use about 5% of all the surface water & groundwater allocated in Alberta 2/3 of water allocated from the Athabasca River is used for oil sands production; 50% increase in water use is expected for increased oil sands production Waste water (or tailings) ponds a concern for wildlife, future reclamation

17 Water- What’s Being Done Reusing water (90% of water used in oil sands is reused) Using saline & other non-potable water Producing treated wastewater for industrial, municipal & recreational use Using environmentally friendly drilling fluids Plugging seismic holes to prevent groundwater contamination

18 A Vision for the Future of Oil Sands Development Honors the rights of the First Nations and Métis Provides a high quality of life Ensures a healthy environment Maximizes value-added industries in Alberta builds healthy communities Sees Alberta benefit from the oil economy and lead in the post-oil economy Sees Alberta as a world leader in education, technology and a skilled workforce Provides high quality infrastructure and services all Albertans Demonstrates leadership through world class governance

19 What can you Do? Ecological Footprint Globally there are about 1.9 hectares of productive area per person Average ecological footprint is 2.3 hectares (worldwide) Average Canadian footprint is 4.8 hectares Carbon Footprint In Canada, transportation is responsible for 27% of GHG emissions, especially passenger vehicles 1 liter of gasoline, weighing less than 1 kg, produces 2.4 kg of CO2 Average Canadian’s carbon footprint is about 12 tons per year

20 Action GHG Reduction (tons) Drive 10% less up to 0.50 Draft-proof your home up to 0.50 Turn off one 60-watt bulb one hour/day up to 0.19 Replace five standard incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs up to 0.20 Reduce thermostat 3°F at night & when you are away up to 0.50 Use energy saver option on your computer up to 0.05 Turn off computer at night up to 0.20 Install low-flow shower head up to 0.40 Plant a shade tree up to 0.12 Compost organic kitchen waste up to 0.10

21 Vote regularly and knowledgeably Get involved: Join a local interest group Contact your elected representative Share ideas with your friends Engage your neighbors, friends and family in stewardship: Create a carpool Share lawn & garden tools Organize a community clean up and naturalization

22 Reduce your transportation needs: Walk, bike or take transit Live closer to school or work Make informed consumer decisions: Choose a fuel efficient vehicle Buy locally grown and produced food Improve energy efficiency in your home: Weatherproof doors Replace old windows/furnaces Pursue careers in the natural resources: Environmental management Technology Engineering

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