U of Calgary, U of Alberta get $75 million *each* from Canadian taxpayers to legitimize (synergize) and spread AER/CAPP/petroleum industry propaganda, to enable continued devastation and harms to Alberta’s environment, communities and people and spread them across Canada

Excellent comments by Diana Daunheimer and Rob Schwartz.

4 Comments

Tariq Munir · Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Calgary, Alberta Canada
While working to reduce environmental footprint, I realized that too many groups were involved to converge to viable solutions. As well, much lesser of the total allocations were being spent on restorative technology or modeling which could be utilized for restoration of resource extracted peatlands occupying approx 80% of the oil sands development region in Alberta. Suggest more productive work is required to fix the damage already done to environment. Sep 7, 2016 11:25am

Diana Daunheimer
Research money on unconventional oil and gas extraction has nothing to do with transitioning to low carbon energy systems. This is just millions more thrown away by the feds into the most unscrupulous and petro-enabling post secondary institution in Canada, their theatrical eNGO cohorts and industry partners.

http://www.nationalobserver.com/…/teachers-investigate…

http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/frac-fraud-academia-how…/

http://thetyee.ca/…/Canada-Biggest-Unheard-Political…/

http://rabble.ca/…/follow-money-part-3-big-oil-and……

Expertise? Just look at what the U of C has on their Energy Education site on fracking, pure ignominy: http://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Hydraulic_fracturing
Sep 7, 2016 7:42am

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
A much better use of the money would be to research more efficient ways to extract oil from oil sands and to access the huge Duvernay potential. Sep 7, 2016 4:30am

Diana Daunheimer
We already have COSIA and now a publicly funded Oilsands Advisory Group, prior to we also had CEMA and JOSM and supposedly AEMERA. What happened to the billions already invested on research into efficiencies and emissions management?

A much better use of this money would be to direct it to the already known “big problems.”  Sep 7, 2016 7:47am

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer Billions spent by the government? Rubbish. Thde research funded by private enterprise has yielded many innovations that have already improved efficiencies and cut emissions. Anything the government spends money on is completely worthless. Sep 7, 2016 7:58am

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra
Not rubbish, COSIA has spent 1.3 billion to date, which is money recycled through government programs and many gov orgs are associate members. AEMERA was touted as using “industry money, laundered through government” exact words of Val Mellesmoen at Synergy Alberta: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FYD–Z8nXE

Oilsands innovation programs have been government money, all worthless? I suppose, as emissions have increased, you can view the St-60b on the AER website to see how much emissions have increased. Efficiencies? Then why are so many operators still haemorrhaging money at $50/barrel WTI and the Alberta economy is in historical deficit?

“Increasing production is expected to outpace improvements in emissions intensity and most technologies with the potential to reduce emissions have not been commercialized or technically proven.”

http://www.cbc.ca/…/rising-carbon-emissions-from… Sep 7, 2016 9:31am

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer A couple of years ago they lost money at $70 per barrel so many improvements have been made despite government interference. Total emissions are not a factor yet even with incresed production. We are not a player in total world GHG’s. Sep 7, 2016 11:24am

Rob Schwartz
Casandra Ferra Please cite examples of industry led innivation that has done anything other than reduce costs at the expense of environmental protections . Sep 7, 2016 1:08pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Rob Schwartz Ridiculous – environmental protections have never been downgraded.
Sep 7, 2016 2:01pm

Rob Schwartz
Casandra Ferra I am afraid that you are dead wrong there. To mention only 2 of a litany of protective downgrades please understand that water withdawl licences for oilield injection are now issued smarily without regard for instream flow needs or overallocation issues. Also understand that Groundwater protection standards were downgraded so as to allow the operator to choose to not install protective surface casing on CBM wells. Please note that prior to 2000 , under conventional oil regulations , groundwater protective surface casing was required to be installed to 1/3 of the total depth of the well. Sep 7, 2016 2:44pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Rob Schwartz Surface casing is run dependent on the total depth of the well and if any surface gas has been detected in a ten mile radius – the previous law did not make sense. They also added that drilling is not allowed within 100 meters of a body of water now including ponds and dugouts or dry creek beds.The laws are far more stringent now. You are the one dead wrong. Sep 7, 2016 8:21pm

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra
Surface casing depths are based off of a number of parameters, most importantly the Base of Groundwater Protection mapping.
Regulations are not stringent and rarely enforced, the AER takes most applications on “faith”-exact words of AER audit department-they are complete and within regulatory guidelines.
Angle put 3 wells directly in the course of the Rosebud River watershed by our home, had to build a dyke and ponds to pull the water table away from inground, unlined sumps with contaminated waste in them and only put casing depths at around 400m on several well sites, when the BGWP mapping indicates our area must have surface casing depths of 600m. Many wells continue to have SCVF and gas migrations, which is not permitted under the Water Act. I imagine you can find hundreds of such violations each year in Alberta. Sep 7, 2016 9:05pm

Rob Schwartz
Casandra Ferra You must get your info off the back of a corn flakes box as I could show you CBM wells completed with no surface casing and within 400 meters of a problematic conventional well with unremediated surface casing vent flow that is tied into the sales line Sep 7, 2016 9:05pm

Diana Daunheimer
Under the Water Act: “water body” means any location where water flows or is present, whether or not the flow or the presence of water is continuous, intermittent or occurs only during a flood, and includes but is not limited to wetlands and aquifers but does not include except for clause (nn) and section 99 “water body” that is part of an irrigation works if the irrigation works is subject to a licence and the irrigation works is owned by the licensee, unless the regulations specify that the location is included in the definition of water body;

Is drilling and fraccing into aquifers illegal then? Someone should let the AER know.
Sep 7, 2016 9:07pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Rob Schwartz Impossible – 40 years as a drilling engineer is not reading it off a cornflakes box. Sep 7, 2016 9:21pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer There is no problem drillinng through aquifers – how else to get through them genius? Nobody fracs into an aquifer – myth made upby eco-zombies.
Sep 7, 2016 9:24pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer Surface casibg regulations are stringent are followed to a tee – it would not be cost-effective to have a well plugged due to a violation. Sep 7, 2016 9:26pm

Rob Schwartz
Casandra Ferra 40 years as a drilling engineer ! Great ! Then you would recognize pictures of surface casing piped to a sales line with none of the old school panic to locate the problem and remedy with a cement squeeze. And yes there are thousands of CBM wells perfed and fracked above the base of groundwater protection into potable water bearing coal seams. As a drilling engineer you should be quite capable of pulling some well logs c/w frac programs . Just for shits and giggles I suggest you pull some random CBM well completion data on wells in the Strathmore ,Drumheller ,Three Hills area Sep 7, 2016 9:47pm · Edited

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra

“On September 22, 2011, Crew Energy Inc. (Crew) was performing a hydraulic fracturing operation on the Caltex HZ ELM 11-34-068-10W6M (actual bottomhole location) well and inadvertently perforated above the base of groundwater protection at a depth of 136 metres measured depth (mMD).1 Hydraulic fracturing operations were subsequently conducted using gelled propane as a carrier fluid, pumping 20.07 tonnes of sand and 130 cubic metres (m3) of gelled propane.
When it was realized that hydraulic fracturing had occurred through the shallow perforations, flow-back operations of the fractured interval were conducted. A two-well groundwater monitoring program was initiated and is ongoing to evaluate the impact of the incident upon groundwater.”
https://www.aer.ca/documents/reports/IR_20121220_Caltex.pdf
Sep 7, 2016 9:46pm

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra
No problem drilling through aquifers? Lost circulation never happens? Industry standard drilling fluid losses from drill bit micro fractures does not occur?
Sep 7, 2016 9:48pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer And a lot of planes crash too. Sep 8, 2016 3:39am

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Rob Schwartz You have absolutely no knowledge of the subject that I can see by your incoherent ramblings. Sep 8, 2016 3:40am

Rob Schwartz
Casandra Ferra Please take a break from your duties at the Quickie Mart to do some investigating of CBM well completion logs and frac programs . Then please turn to page 107 in the old ERCB guide code 56 hymn book to sing the song “Expectations when fracking above the base of groundwater protection ” Sep 8, 2016 8:36am

Rob Schwartz
The first and most productive area of investigation should be a compiling of a complete list of conventional regulatory relaxations that have been instituted within the last 20 years in order to facilitate the development of the shale zones and the CBM zones. All of these regulatory relaxations carried with them well known and understood environmental , health and social impacts which have been systematically denied by both the industry and the industry owned regulator. 150 million will not be wisely spent on any type of continued cover-up of the well documented impacts of unconventional resource development and it appears that the same players involved in the current practice of Deny , Deflect , Delay are in charge of an enabling federal gift designed to perpetuate the status quo.
Sep 6, 2016 8:30pm · Edited

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Rob Schartz There have been absolutely no relaxation of environmental restrictions, in fact they have all been strengthened to the point where hardly banything can be accomplished without a mountain of paperwork Sep 7, 2016 7:56am

Diana Daunheimer
Certainly, like how the AER under Directive 60 regulates the compliance of off lease emissions, including sour gas, by an inspectors “opinion” and olfactory judgement, refusing to even categorize these emissions scientifically as such, instead calling them “odours” and openly permitting the release of hazardous emissions off site.

Compliance Assurance, Directive 19, no longer exists, likely because oil and gas operators routinely violate the AAAQO with respect to on and off site air quality monitoring.

Under Directive 17, emissions are largely estimated via excel spreadsheets and not measured or tested.

No baseline water testing for fraccing operations.

Unenforced testing and waste management practices under Directive 55, no NORM testing mandated on any waste stream, companies are just permitted to dump radioactive contaminated waste on ag lands.

These and dozens of other changes, including play based regs (NALA), demonstrate the rash of deregulation is astonishing. Sep 7, 2016 8:04am

Jon Mackinnon · Calgary, Alberta
Diana Daunheimer Ok Diana, you do know you are exposed to NORMs everyday of your life right? It’s Naturally Occuring Radioactive Material, there’s a background of it everywhere. Your cellphone, tv, computer, microwave and countless other items emit NORMs all the time and you don’t seem to concerned with that. Hell we’re bombarded by massive amounts of radiation daily just fromt he sun and that is more dangerous than most NORM levels one will encounter. Did you know the smoke detectors in your house actually contain radioactive material as well? It’s called Americium and it sits on the periodic table with other radioactive elements (you know the real nasty ones that can cause immediate and long term effects). You have to be exposed to incredibly massive levels of NORM contaminated for extremely long periods of time in order to see any effects. Sep 7, 2016 8:36am

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer All they did was recognize that some reports were nonsense because they were impossible to measure acurately or could never be enforced anyway – they did not lower standrards just changed the reporting. They did increase the reporting threshold of any spill to one litre – the most stringent in the world. You are just using semantics. Sep 7, 2016 2:03pm

Diana Daunheimer
Jon Mackinnon

Even Secure Energy has this to say on the impact of NORM waste produced by shale operations:

“Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) in the oil and gas industry has become a much more significant health, safety and environmental issue as a result of unconventional multi-stage horizontal fracturing into shale deposits.”

http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/…/norm-waste-management/

Producing trillions of m3 of shale cuttings, scale, produced water and waste drilling muds laced with NORMs each year, spreading, injecting or burying on land, within watersheds, is a mighty different ball game than the radiation emitted from our gadgets. NORM exposure does not have to be excessive or longstanding to cause impacts, a good review is the Health Canda info on radon exposure, the second leading cause of lung cancer.

https://www.epa.gov/…/tenorm-oil-and-gas-production-wastes

http://thetyee.ca/…/Radioactive-Elements-Downwind…/

Sep 7, 2016 5:29pm · Edited

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra
I am unsure what you mean by nonsense reports, care to share? Directives, under the AER, are what govern the industry here in Alberta. Measurement reporting is a complex system, housed within an inaccessible portal called Petrinex and has changed little. The AER does change Directives all the time, but not to be more stringent.
Any amount of product spilled off lease needs to be reported, but the threshold for on lease is 2000 litres of unrefined product and natural gas, 30 decs. It matters little about the reporting limits, when there is no consequence for spilling any amount of product, unless the damage is monumental. So far the AER has handed out a pittance in fines under the EPEA. The other reported spills, an average of 2 per day in Alberta get nothing but uninformative mention on a compliance dashboard.

Besides with waste gases, well sites are permitted to release 900 m3 (900,000l) per day of unrefined formation gases, including sour gas. Sep 7, 2016 5:46pm

Diana Daunheimer
Another link for the relationship between fracking and radon:

http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/04/13/Fracking-Radon-Gas-Hazard/
Sep 7, 2016 7:01pm

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer Ridiculous – any spillof one litre on or off lease – refined or not must be reported and cleaned up. try to get your facts straight. As for gas – it is released during the drilling operation – if you drillthrough a gas or oil bearing formation gas is released into the drilling fluid and comes to surface and must be vented – during drilling and completion only – you makeit sound like this occurs every day of the life of the well – there are laws against flaring while producing. Stop the lies.
Sep 7, 2016 8:16pm

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra
It is your facts that are not correct Ms. Ferra.
https://www.aer.ca/…/AERReleaseReportingPresentation.pdf

Gas is rarely released in significant quantities during drilling, if it is, you have a blow out, and that is bad news. Drillers use under and over balanced drilling techniques to ensure gas does not come to surface during drilling. Of course, gas comes to surface during completions, some is flared or incinerated, some is vented, some may be sent inline. During production, well sites have routine and non-routine venting from site instrumentation and storage. Vent volumes in the province from transmission systems, batteries and production facilities can often exceed flaring volumes, the volumes are staggering.

cont…
Sep 7, 2016 9:15pm

Diana Daunheimer
Under Directive 60, well sites do not have to conserve formation gases vented from production tanks unless that volumes exceeds 900m3 per day and venting does occur every day, from hundreds of thousands of well sites and facilities in Alberta. You have routine venting, non-routine venting for maintenance and line depressuring, instrument venting, methanol venting, surface casing venting, gas migrations and fugitive emissions, to name a few sources of vented emissions.
There are no “laws” against flaring while producing, the AER actually mandates that sites with enough stabilized flow have permanent flares installed on site and many sites have emergency flare stacks.
I would refrain from insinuating someone is lying about well site operations and directives, when clearly, you do not have the technical or regulatory understanding of the industry, to take that stance.
Sep 7, 2016 9:26pm · Edited

Casandra Ferra · Owner at Bloomfast mart, Penticton, B.C.
Diana Daunheimer Have you ever been to a drilling rig under operation? I dont think so – “gas dose not come to surface during normal drilling operations” – that statement is so ludicrous it gives me a headache – never mind – none are so blind
Sep 8, 2016 3:43am

Diana Daunheimer
Casandra Ferra
If you quote someone it needs to be accurate: “gas is rarely released in significant quantities”, fugitive emissions are standard during drilling. I agree, folks are not blind, they can read for themselves who is presenting factual operative and regulatory information on making hole.
Like · Reply · Sep 8, 2016 5:45am

U of C gets $75 million to research environmental impact of energy use and extraction by Colette Derworz, September 6, 2016, Calgary Herald
A University of Calgary project to reduce the effects of energy extraction on the environment has received $75 million in funding from the federal government.

It was one of 13 projects announced Tuesday with $900 million in funding by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

The fund “will equip Canada to respond to some of the most pressing issues it will face in the future: brain health, sustainable food and water supplies, environmental concerns, future energy supplies,” Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan said in a news release.

The U of C research, dubbed Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources, will work to reduce the effects of energy extraction and energy use on the environment.

“It’s a significant program that it’s going to support,” said university president Elizabeth Cannon, noting the University of Alberta has received another $75 million in funding for energy research, so the two schools will work together.

The U of C funding is spread over seven years.

“We’re going to be able to bring together a bunch of scientists and a bunch of cool things that are happening in different areas of science and address big challenges that are happening in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Steven Bryant, an engineering professor at the U of C and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs.

“It’s not just enabling but accelerating that transition.”

He said the program will work to address the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to meet the demand for petroleum over the next couple of decades.

It will include research on the oilsands, tight (or shale) oil, unconventional gas and storage of carbon.

Cannon added that it will work toward solutions rather than taking a “business as usual” approach.

“It’s about bringing together multidisciplinary teams on campus with external partners to tackle some of these big opportunities in a way that is going to leverage our expertise and our facilities,” she said, noting they will partner with SAIT. “At the end of the day, we want to be able to implement these in the marketplace.”

There will be a total of 270 researchers involved in the University of Calgary’s energy project.

It will also include working with organizations such as the Pembina Institute and several local oil and gas companies, as well as international partners in China, Mexico and Israel.

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