EnCana donates $1 Million to the University of Calgary, supports research to protect ecosystems by University of Calgary News, December 8, 2008
EnCana Corporation and the University of Calgary announced today the creation of the EnCana Chair in Canadian Plains Mitigation and Reclamation. This new position in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the U of C will investigate innovative ways for the energy industry to limit its impact on ecosystems in Western Canada. EnCana has committed $1 million to support the research chair over the next five years. “We’re pleased to have EnCana’s support for this important research,” says Loraine Fowlow, interim-dean for the Faculty of Environmental Design, “North American plains habitat faces a number of disturbances from human use, including that from oil and gas exploration. EnCana is showing leadership by providing a dedicated research position to focus on the challenge of reclaiming industrial sites to allow the return of prairie ecosystem components.” Research will increase understanding of the direct and indirect effects of oil and gas activity on the environment. That knowledge will assist the chair in developing improved mitigation and reclamation activities for oil and gas producers. The need for this research chair is crucial. As the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin matures, the energy industry is exploring new areas for development. Doing so responsibly requires the best available mitigation practices. Thousands of mature well sites also require proper reclamation as they reach the end of their production cycle.
“EnCana welcomes the opportunity to support research into improved techniques for sustainable oil and gas development in Western Canada,” says Don Swystun, EnCana’s President of Canadian Plains Division. “Our company constantly strives to operate in a manner that has the least impact on the environment. The increased knowledge which will come from this new research chair will contribute to an improved way of doing business for EnCana and all energy companies.” The chair will study topics such as the effectiveness of mitigation measures, including setback distances and timing restrictions, for species at risk. Research will also explore the effects of fragmentation, including whether alternative methods of construction and reclamation can facilitate the return of the landscape to equivalent land capacity. There will be an open, international search for the research Chair, and the researcher will have the flexibility and independence to explore practices across multiple companies to gather an encompassing perspective in order to develop best practices for the industry as a whole. [Emphasis added]