2013 RCE Award Winners

The RCE Awards are presented for oil and gas industry achievements demonstrating environmental, social, health and safety leadership.

President's Award: Encana
Responsible Products Program

In keeping with a commitment to continuous improvement and proactively addressing stakeholder concerns, Encana has implemented a company-wide program to manage chemical additives used in hydraulic fracturing.The Responsible Products Program allows Encana to assess its hydraulic fracturing fluid systems for potential impacts to human health or the environment using widely-accepted toxicological criteria. Encana identifies any required operational controls to allow for the responsible use of the additives or eliminate them from use entirely. The program has been shared with CAPP in support of the Fracturing Fluid Additive Risk Assessment and Management Operating Practice. Encana has determined that none of the hydraulic fracturing products it uses contain arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead or mercury and is committed to verifying none of these heavy metals are used in its hydraulic fracturing operations in the future. Encana also prohibits the use of hydraulic fracturing fluid products containing diesel, 2-Butoxyethanol and benzene.

Horn River Basin Recycling Program:

In 2009, in an effort to reduce the amount of material being diverted to local landfills, Encana began a waste reduction program in its work camps located in northeastern British Columbia's Horn River Basin. Recyclables were collected at the camps and stored in 50-foot trailers before being transported to the town of Fort Nelson and donated to local community groups. These groups were then able to sort the material and return containers to receive the refunded deposits. By 2011, it had become difficult to find groups able to sort an entire trailer of material. In 2012, in order to address this challenge, Encana and the Northern Rockies Social Planning Council created a sorting facility where individuals with barriers to employment, fundraising groups and others in need are able to sort the containers and return them for cash. To date, Encana has diverted 20 trailers of for-deposit containers from the landfill, providing more than $60,000 in revenue to the community.

Race Against Hunger:

Encana is committed to creating sustainable communities where we live and operate. This commitment is facilitated by actively engaging both staff and community members in our community investment initiatives. Encana's support of rural lifestyles has a long tradition with the organization and preservation of Encana's western Canadian heritage is directed by both formal and grassroots initiatives.This was the premise for developing the Race Against Hunger program, a partnership between Encana and the World Professional Chuckwagon Association that benefits local food banks in Encana's operating areas in Alberta and British Columbia. The program raises food, funds and awareness for local food banks.Now in its third year, the Race Against Hunger has received overwhelming support from local businesses and community members, raising more than $100,000 and almost 12,000 pounds of food in 2012.

Chair's Award: ARC Resources
Dawson Gas Plant Low Emissions Facility

When embarking on plans to construct a new gas plant at its Dawson field operations in northeast British Columbia, ARC pursued the decision to build the plant as a low emissions facility, as a long-term investment that would have significant benefits for operations and the surrounding residents.The facility's low emissions design incorporates a number of emissions reducing practices, such as electrification, high efficiency motors, and acid gas injection. By installing these components, greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced and the plant's overall carbon footprint has decreased by approximately 60,000 tonnes per year - equivalent to the emissions generated by approximately 9,700 households in the period of one year.The unique combination of high efficiency and low emissions makes the Dawson gas plant a leading example in terms of greenhouse gas efficiency per unit of output. The project demonstrates ARC's commitment to minimizing its environmental impact, industry leadership and to creating long-term value for all stakeholders.

Environmental Performance: Cenovus
SkyStrat™ Drilling Rig

The SkyStrat™ drilling rig is a new rig that Cenovus developed to improve stratigraphic drilling programs in the oil sands. It is approximately two-thirds the size of a conventional rig and can be transported by helicopter, allowing Cenovus to access remote drilling locations year-round.To date, the SkyStrat™ drilling rig has drilled 18 wells in the oil sands. Transporting the SkyStrat™ drilling rig by helicopter eliminates the need for temporary roads, which significantly reduces the surface footprint. It also has the potential to reduce water use for drilling operations by up to 50 per cent. Further reductions in water use are achieved by not having to use additional water to freeze-in winter roads.Cenovus plans to drill approximately 25 stratigraphic wells with the SkyStrat™ drilling rig in 2013 and is beginning construction of a second rig.

Health and Safety: Chevron
Beaufort Sirluaq Seismic Program

From August to early October 2012, Chevron Canada Limited conducted a three-dimensional (3-D) marine seismic program on Exploration Licence 460 (Chevron 60 per cent, Statoil 40 per cent), situated 240 kilometres northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, in the Beaufort Sea. Chevron faced numerous challenges in executing the program incident free, including staging the operation in an isolated location remote from support services, aligning all participants in their commitment to safe-work practices, enabling local benefits, managing high winds and rough seas as well as the ever-present threat of pack ice. Nevertheless, with early and thorough planning, effective stakeholder consultation and relentless care and collaboration during execution, Chevron and its contractors completed the program without incurring a single recordable safety or environmental incident (over 54,600 exposure hours), engaged local services and suppliers, kept all local communities informed of the project status, and captured a record 3,658 square kilometres of data (140 per cent of scope) ahead of schedule and on budget. Chevron also acquired the first dual-azimuth (two-directional) seismic data in the Beaufort Sea.

Social Performance: Suncor
David Thompson Corridor Visitor Services Program

The David Thompson Corridor Visitor Services Program is a five-year partnership (2009-2014) between Suncor Energy and Alberta Parks. Building upon a long-term co-operative relationship between Suncor, its predecessor companies and Crimson Lake Provincial Park, Suncor is providing funding for more than five years to benefit a number of program deliverables including:

  • Raising awareness of and fostering stewardship for the parks and protected areas within the David Thompson Corridor;
  • Providing opportunities to engage the public in nature-based, hands-on experiential learning;
  • Increasing the park staff presence in the David Thompson Corridor; and,
  • Fostering collaborations and partnerships to strengthen the visitor services program and reach common goals.

To date, a full-time visitor services program supervisor has been hired, environmental education programs have been provided to regional students, public interpretive programs have been delivered and numerous partnerships in support of Alberta Parks have been established.