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    Managing the Future of Unconventional Oil Resources

    Eddy Isaacs, CEO

    Alberta Innovates Energy & Environment Solutions (AI-EES)

    Managing the Future of Water and Energy

    IFAT 2014: Canada Special

    May 7, 2014

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    Albertas energy resources

    Source: Alberta Energy Regulator, 2013 * Based on anticipated technology & economic conditions. ** Excluding unconventional gas

    Oil (Billion Barrels)

    Gas (Trillion Cubic Feet)

    Oil Sands (Billion Barrels)

    Coal (Billion tonnes)

    Remaining Established

    1.7 35 168 37

    Ultimate Potential*

    19.7 223** 315 683

    Third largest proven petroleum reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, with 170 billion barrels

    Approximately 75% of Canadas natural gas production comes from Alberta

    Vast coal resources

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    Albertas shale and tight oil resources - gaps exist in understanding the size and location

    At an early stage of exploration

    Resource potential and


    Potential groundwater water

    and surface water impacts

    Well integrity

    Fugitive GHG emissions

    Currently producing ~150,000

    bbl/day (~18,000 m3/day) Duvernay Formation and distribution of Swan Hills oil and gas pools (Rokosh, 2012).

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    Key Concerns

    Water Use and Quality

    GHG Emissions

    Oil Sands Tailings


    Emissions and Air Quality

    Aquatic Ecosystem

    Key environmental issues

    Land Disturbance

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    Tailing ponds on a grand scale

    A tailings pond at Syncrude Oil

    Sands mining facility

    (Picture taken July 2008)

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    Examples of tailings technology pathways

    Thin Lift Drying (e.g. TROTM ; Suncor) Commercial demonstration

    Water-Capped MFT Technology Monitored large test ponds over 20 years

    Commercial demonstration being constructed

    High Compression Thickener Large-scale pilot filed pilots started in 2001 Will be implemented at Arora N & S mine sites

    Centrifuge Process 20 tonnes per hour pilot : Syncrude

    Dry stackable whole tailings one year after centrifuge process

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    Mine area reclamation


    Return mined area to equivalent land productivity prior to mining

    Research & deliverables

    Model effects of soil salvage and placement techniques on nutrients and nutrient cycling

    Quantify plant responses to reclamation prescriptions and fertilization

    Align reclamation practices to meet reclamation objectives

    Direct placed


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    Water management in oil sands development

    Water use in thermal in-situ recovery (SAGD)

    Water in fluid tailings

    Impact on water quality in the Lower Athabasca

    Water use in SAGD

    High water recycling rates - greater than 90%

    Fresh water use among the lowest in the world

    Need to balance GHG emission

    Challenges Facilities handle more water than oil ~70% of operating costs to heat and

    treat water The more recycling and reuse the

    more GHG emissions Innovation Gap: reduced fresh water use and energy requirements

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    Alberta a hot bed for innovation in thermal water treatment

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    Headwaters Impacts

    Regional flow and

    water quality


    treatment &



    Source water protection and management

    Selected Projects Wetland health-field research to support the

    development of an index of biotic integrity Dynamics of Albertas water supply - overall

    understanding of water in Alberta and long-term vulnerabilities (phase 2)

    Energy, GHG and water flow modelling and valuation of GHG Reductions

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    Albertas renewable energy resources


    Alberta produces 40+ million tonnes of grain and biomass from crops. The forest industry harvested 24 million cubic meters of wood



    Alberta sunny enough?


    1,000 MW + 10,000 MW proposed

    Harvest heat from 400,000+ oil & gas wells

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    City of Edmonton waste to biofuels plant

    MSW 100 mill tones/yr

    Ethanol 38 million litres/yr

    Biofuels Plant (commercial)

    Reduces landfill by 90% Eliminates landfill methane Replaces fossil fuel Captures produced CO2 Meets renewable fuel standard

    Advanced Energy Research Facility

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    Organizations Seeking Innovative Solutions


    Carbon levy - GHG reductions Energy Efficiency Renewables Carbon Capture & Storage Greening Fossil Fuels

    Edmonton & Ottawa labs & pilot facilities Oil Sands Tight oil & Unconventional gas Frontier Oil & Gas Coal and Carbon Capture


    Provincial Innovation Agency Energy Technologies Renewable & Emerging Technologies Water & Environmental Management

    Alliance of 13 oil sand companies Water Tailings Land GHG Emissions

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    Thank You


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