Canadian oil and gas industry releases 2010 Responsible Canadian Energy Progress Report

December 15, 2011 - Calgary, Alberta

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) today released its second annual Responsible Canadian Energy Progress Report which details the oil and gas industry's performance in the areas of people, air, land and water. The 2010 report features performance indicators and analysis to address industry performance in Western Canada (excluding oil sands), the oil sands and the Atlantic offshore industry. CAPP is also highlighting shale gas development as an emerging issue, including concerns related to water and hydraulic fracturing.

"We believe our stakeholders and the public must have timely access to credible, objective information about our industry," said Dave Collyer, CAPP President. "This report provides an opportunity to demonstrate our progress, to be candid about our challenges and to encourage a collaborative approach in pursuit of solutions."

The goal of Canada's oil and gas industry is continuous improvement of environmental, social and safety performance. Increasing transparency and public understanding of social and environmental performance is important to Canada's oil and gas industry, as it is to Canadians. Performance data from 2010 shows improvements in overall water use, safety, and air emissions. The report also identifies specific areas where more work is needed to improve performance, such as greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and water reuse in shale gas development.

"I am proud of industry's overall track record and our commitment to continuous performance improvement. Technology and innovation will be a key driver in this regard, as will collaboration on technology development among industry, governments, research institutions and other stakeholders," said Collyer.

CAPP's Responsible Canadian Energy is an association-wide performance reporting program based on data reported by CAPP members, annual measurement and analysis of this data, as well as tools and resources for CAPP members to support continual performance improvement. The program builds on nearly a decade of achievements through our Stewardship initiative, addressing key areas for performance improvement with a renewed focus on transparency and accountability.

"We believe responsibly developed and consumed crude oil and natural gas will continue to play a foundational role in Canada's and the world's energy mix for many decades to come. Canada's oil and gas industry is committed to delivering this energy to Canada and the world in a responsible way, every day," said Collyer.

This year's report is comprised of two components, a printed report that contains the highlights of our industry's performance in 2010, and a project specific microsite that provides more comprehensive data. Our objective is to ensure our performance reporting is both credible and transparent. To that end, an independent Advisory Group comprised of respected leaders representing academia/research, communities, contractors, investors, government/regulators, non-government organizations, labour and business has reviewed the report and has provided comments in the report.

The full report can be found here.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce more than 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $100 billion-a-year. CAPP's mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate.

- 30 -


Background: Data Highlights from CAPP's 2010 Responsible Canadian Energy Progress Report

People

    The five year trend for national Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF) shows that total (employees and contractors) reported injury rates have decreased since 2006, with TRIF declining from 1.48 in 2006 to 0.89 in 2010. However, reported data shows a slight increase in TRIF in 2010 from 2009 levels. The oil and gas industry is focused on ongoing reduction in injury rates for our employees and contractors. We are working with Enform, the industry safety association, to develop and implement improvements in safety management systems, training and reporting in order to realize ongoing improvements in worker safety.

    In 2010, CAPP member companies recorded seven fatalities, as compared to 24 fatalities in 2009. This reduction in fatalities is encouraging, but just one remains far too many. The loss of any life is tragic and increases the industry's resolve to reduce fatalities to zero.

Air

    Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are primarily related to fuel consumption - both stationary fired equipment and mine fleet vehicles. Additional energy requirements in near depleted reservoirs and in unconventional production result in more emissions - intensive production. Western Canada's oil and gas production has the highest NOx emissions intensity within the industry. However, 2010 was the third consecutive year that NOx intensity declined for production in Western Canada, falling six per cent from 2009. There has also been a decline in NOx emissions intensity for oil sands, with 2010 NOx emissions intensities decreasing by seven per cent. In both cases, the decreases are largely related to performance improvements, such as fuel gas efficiency improvements and better combustion technology. Another factor influencing the downward trend for Western Canada emissions intensity is declining natural gas production volumes, which is in turn lowering levels of fuel combustion required for pipeline compression, and thus, NOx emissions.

    Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is primarily emitted in sour gas processing and bitumen upgrading operations. Oil sands production has the highest SO2 emissions per barrel of production, due to the high sulphur content in raw bitumen. However, the oil sands industry was able to reduce SO2 intensity by 23 per cent in 2010 as compared to 2009, continuing a five year reduction trend in SO2 emissions intensity. SO2 emissions intensity has declined by 29 per cent since 2006. The SO2 emissions intensity was lower due to improved process stability and better sulphur recovery technology at new facilities. In Western Canada the SO2 emissions intensity has decreased by 24 per cent since 2006, with a decrease of seven per cent in 2010 as compared to 2009.

    Absolute oil sands GHG emissions are 6.5 per cent of Canada's GHG emissions and 0.1 per cent of global GHG emissions.

    Absolute GHG emissions from Canada's oil and gas sector continued to increase in 2010, to 102,399,539 tonnes. This was a result of overall production growth in oil sands and unconventional gas, as well as production shifting from conventional to unconventional reserves. Unconventional reserves often require enhanced production techniques, which use more energy and consequently generate more GHGs than would be generated through the production of conventional reserves.

    Overall GHG emissions intensity (GHG emissions per barrel equivalent of production) increased about three per cent from 2009 to 2010, and has increased by about 19 per cent over the past five years. This is largely due to the shift in production from conventional to unconventional sources, including oil sands, which require more energy to produce. In the oil sands, GHG emissions intensity (GHG emissions per barrel of oil sands production) increased by two per cent from 2009, after two years of decreasing emissions intensities. In the remainder of Western Canada, GHG emissions intensity increased for the third consecutive year and by 12 per cent from 2009. GHG emissions intensity also increased in Atlantic Canada for the third consecutive year, increasing by 11 per cent in 2010 as compared to 2009.

Water

    In 2009, CAPP first introduced mandatory water reporting to provide a more complete picture of member performance as it pertains to water. For this reason, reliable longer term historical CAPP data relating to water is unavailable. For the purpose of this report and to establish trends, we have therefore accessed information from government sources to supplement CAPP data.

    The amount of fresh water used in oil sands mining is highly dependent on the timing of new mine start-ups and the overall phasing of mine developments. While mining production increased four per cent from 2009 to 2010, fresh water withdrawal dropped by six per cent. In 2010, 3.1 barrels of fresh water were used to produce one barrel of oil from oil sands mining projects. In 2006 it took 2.7 barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil from oil sands mining projects, and in 2008 fresh water use per barrel increased significantly due to start-up of new mining operations.

    Oil sands mining withdrawals from the Athabasca River were less than three per cent of the lowest weekly winter flow in 2010.

    In 2010, only 0.4 barrels of fresh water were used to produce one barrel of oil from oil sands in situ projects. This is the lowest rate of fresh water withdrawal per barrel of production the industry has achieved, and is due to improvements in recycling rates (upwards of 90 per cent) and replacing fresh water with non-fresh water to generate steam wherever feasible.

    In 2010, 0.6 barrels of fresh water were used to produce one barrel of conventional oil in Alberta. Fresh water withdrawal per barrel of production has remained consistently low (~0.6 barrels) over the last five years.

    In 2010, CAPP members voluntarily reported on water reuse in Western Canada shale gas, and tight oil and gas plays for the first time. Based on the data received in 2010, four per cent of water was reused in these projects. The industry recognizes that the level of reuse must be improved and is advancing a number of initiatives to address this issue.

Land

    Total well count (active plus inactive wells) in Western Canada in 2010 was 281,933 wells. In 2006, this number was 250,422 wells. This indicates that industry is drilling new wells at a faster rate than it is reclaiming existing wells.

    In 2010, CAPP members reported a total of 19,625 wells in Western Canada that were either undergoing active reclamation or are in the monitoring stages of reclamation in preparation for certification. This demonstrates the different phases of reclamation work that must be done for well-sites before earning reclamation certification or release from regulators.

    In 2010, 1,594 conventional abandoned wells earned reclamation certification in Western Canada, a 10 per cent increase from 2009.Over the past five years, the number of annual reclamation certificates issued by governments across the oil and gas industry has fluctuated based largely on industry activity. The economic recession experienced throughout 2008 - 2009 had a significant impact on overall budgets, and in consequence, affected reclamation activity. The pace of reclamation has increased in 2010, as evidenced by the increase in certificates issued in 2010.

    Total active footprint (land cleared, disturbed and being reclaimed for oil sands mining operations) was 71,497 hectares at the end of 2010, an increase of six per cent from 2009. Mineable oil sands are a growing, long-term resource, so the total active footprint is expected to grow for a number of years. 90 per cent of the total active footprint is cleared and disturbed land and 10 per cent is being reclaimed.

For additional information:
Chelsie Klassen, Manager of Media Relations
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
(P): 403-267-1151
(M): 403-542-4115
(E): [email protected]

SHARE