Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada with its emphasis on innovation and collaborative research and development has an important role to play in promoting sustainable energy development in Alberta, a senior provincial government official said Monday.
“Government alone cannot spearhead research and development that advances technology and efficiencies in the energy sector while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Bev Yee, an assistant deputy minister of environment and sustainable development, told the organization’s annual meeting. “Big industry, small business, researchers … all have a role to play as well.”
Those who have been working in the field know there is no silver bullet to the highly complex challenge of minimizing the carbon footprint, said Yee, also the stewardship commissioner in the land use secretariat. “It will take multiple technologies in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
In her speech, Yee praised PTAC for its collaborative approach. “The model of building partnerships with a wide variety of stakeholders to drive innovation in hydrocarbon development is truly remarkable,” she said.
The organization, she said, is successfully mobilizing the combined brain trust of business, researchers and government to propel innovation, she said. “In my mind, this is the ideal template for achievement by fostering collaboration among a diverse range of stakeholders.”
PTAC’s work in areas such as hydraulic fracturing, zero emissions from wellsites, ecological issues and pipeline research and impact is truly appreciated not only by industry but also by the government, she said.
“Your commitment parallels very much what the Alberta government’s commitment is to be a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.”
In 2013, PTAC launched a record 40 new projects with the assistance of more than 275 volunteer technical experts who served on 22 technical steering committees, Soheil Asgarpour, PTAC president, told the meeting.
“The unprecedented 40 new projects combined with the 35 projects carried over from previous years testify to the gathering of momentum from industry interest in collaborative research and development,” he said.
“The challenges facing Canada’s hydrocarbon industry today are significant but PTAC continues to accelerate the pace at which we are facilitating and transferring technologies,” said Asgarpour. “The strategic partnerships in 2013 allowed PTAC to recognize substantial benefits from co-operation across diverse disciplines that expanded the scope and research of technology interests,” he added.
“All our PTAC activities are grounded in our belief that the collaborative deployment of new technologies will improve oil and gas recovery, lower costs, make operations safer and reduce the impact on the environment.”
PTAC also announced its annual award winners:
Corporate Leadership — Statoil Canada. The executives and staff at Statoil have provided significant leadership and guidance to PTAC including serving on the board of directors, leadership for the Phoenix executive sponsored committee, guidance to the Phoenix Network working group, as well as participation in numerous PTAC projects.
President’s Award — Joy Romero (Canadian Natural Resources Limited). Romero spearheaded the transfer of the previous Canadian Oil Sands Network for Research and Development (CONRAD) projects to PTAC. They include the froth treatment consortium as well as the bitumen production fundamentals research group. She also serves on PTAC’s board of directors, and has been a key advocate of PTAC’s vision for collaborative innovation.
Chairperson’s Award — Larry Frederick (Husky Energy Inc.). Frederick has served as chair of the Phoenix network working group. Through the facilitation of innovation in oilsands technologies, as well as the launch of demonstration projects and field pilots, he has been a key advocate of PTAC’s vision for collaborative innovation.
Air Quality R&D Leadership — Filiz Onder (Encana Corporation) for her significant contributions providing direction and leadership on projects related to industry performance and environmental excellence through the PTAC air research planning committee.
Ecological Leadership — Mark Sherrington (Shell Canada) for his significant contributions providing direction and leadership on projects related to industry performance and environmental excellence through the PTAC ecological research planning committee.
Soil and Groundwater Research Leadership — Stephen Bromley (Husky) for his significant contributions providing direction and leadership on projects related to industry performance and environmental excellence through the PTAC soil and groundwater research committee.
Water Innovation Leadership — Lindsay Stephens (Encana) for her significant contributions providing direction and leadership on projects related to industry performance and environmental excellence through the PTAC water innovation planning committee.
Eco-Efficiency Leadership — Jerry Scoular (Husky) for his diligent leadership and support on behalf of Husky Energy, respectively in the activities of the technology for emissions reduction and eco-efficiency (TEREE) committee, and in projects to reduce air emissions from conventional oil and gas operations.
Commercializing of SME (small and medium enterprises) technology — Sky Hunter Corporation. Sky Hunter is a small enterprise that is actively commercializing a technology to map oil and gas reservoirs from an airplane, offering significant reductions in costs and in environmental footprint compared to existing methods. PTAC’s airborne microseep mapping project was a collaborative effort between Sky Hunter and four oilsands companies to apply the technology to mapping SAGD steam chambers. Four initial air surveys were conducted and analyzed in 2013. The results justified two additional air surveys in 2014 to validate the initial results. Sky Hunter is currently building on this project to perform new surveys for clients on a commercial basis.
Distinguished service awards went to Donna Garbutt, president of Schlumberger Canada Ltd.,and Earle Shirley, now retired from the former Energy Resources Conservation Board.
Garbutt, PTAC vice-chair who has been transferred to Houston, was honoured for “her outstanding leadership in progressing research and technology development, her devoted service, and her strong commitment to achieving our shared vision for sustainable hydrocarbon development.”
PTAC recognized Shirley for his leadership in progressing research and technology development. “As a longstanding director of PTAC, he has played a critical role in the formation of PTAC as an organization, and has been a key advocate of PTAC’s vision for collaborative innovation,” said the organization.