The Canadian oil and gas industry’s 2012 Responsible Canadian Energy (RCE) progress report has been released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
“Canada’s oil and natural gas industry delivers energy to Canada and the world in a responsible way every day,” said CAPP president Dave Collyer. “This report is an opportunity to demonstrate progress in key performance areas, to be candid about our challenges, and to encourage a collaborative approach to performance improvement.”
The report provides 2011 industry performance information and analysis – supported by data from CAPP members for manpower, air quality, water usage and land performance – for the Western Canadian oil patch, the oil sands and the Atlantic Canada offshore region.
Key indicators of 2011 performance include the following:
*Industry safety performance improved as measured by both the number of fatalities and employee injury frequency;
*Absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remained relatively flat in 2011, while production slightly increased;
*A multi-year reduction of absolute nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions continued in 2011;
*Fresh water withdrawal per barrel of production continues to decline across the industry; and,
*The total surface land footprint is increasing as the industry grows, although technology such as horizontal drilling is helping to mitigate impact.
CAPP’s RCE Advisory Group, which consists of independent safety, environmental, social and industry experts, reviewed the report. They noted improvements in both performance and reporting, but also encouraged CAPP to continue efforts to develop more robust metrics and performance comparators.
Among the performance highlights were:
People: CAPP member companies reported five fatalities in 2011, compared with seven fatalities in 2010. The injury rate declined from a total recordable injury frequency (TRIF) of 1.15 in 2007 to a TRIF of 0.89 in 2011.
Air: Direct GHG emissions declined one-half per cent from 88.1 million tonnes in 2010 to 87.6 million tonnes in 2011, and indirect emissions increased slightly from 14.3 million tonnes to 14.8 million tonnes. Taken together, total GHG emissions remained flat at 102.4 million tonnes even while there was a one per cent growth in oil and gas production in 2011.
Water: Fresh water withdrawals were down 12 per cent at oil sands mining operations to 2.7 barrels per barrel of production, 10 per cent at in situ operations to 0.36 barrels, and 17 per cent at Western Canada operations to 0.72 barrels. The declines are due to industry’s successful efforts to improve recycling rates and use non-potable water sources where possible.
Land: The total well count (active plus inactive wells) in Western Canada increased 14 per cent to 36,843 wells. Of the 32,684 abandoned conventional wells, 50 per cent are under active reclamation, 23 per cent are being assessed and 27 per cent are temporarily deferred. Total active footprint for oil sands mining operations was up seven per cent in 2011 to 76,070 hectares, including 10 per cent in some stage of the reclamation process.