Innovation surge sparks oil sands opportunities: PwC

CALGARY, Nov. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Speaking with oil sands executives and 
associations, PwC's oil sands technology innovation report - Innovation surge 
sparks oil sands opportunities, reveal four innovation surges that are opening 
up a new era of opportunity for Canadian oil sands: reducing economic costs; 
improving environmental performance; industry collaboration; and converting 
more resources to reserves. 
The report found that for a majority of oil sands companies, environmental and 
economic goals are consistent. By improving operational performance, a company 
can also reduce its emissions footprint. 
Improvements in energy efficiency have led to a 26% reduction in emissions 
intensity in the oil sands industry between 1990 and 2010. Currently, Alberta 
is investing CA$1.3 billion over 15 years in two large-scale carbon capture 
storage (CCS) projects - one of which is Shell Canada's Quest CCS project. 
Reynold Tetzlaff, National Energy Leader, PwC, explains, "The pursuit of 
environmental outcomes is a push and pull: a push from within the industry and 
a pull from regulatory institutions. Environmental performance capabilities 
keep improving while regulatory standards continue to get stricter. It's not 
always clear which is leading and which is following." 
Collaboration is key 
According to the report, the pace of innovation is being driven by the 
increasingly open exchange of ideas- stemming from new industry alliances, 
some "intra-corporate", some as partnerships with innovative suppliers and 
others with government bodies. 
Looking at Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and its members, the 
organization represents nearly 90% of oil sands production and agrees to share 
experience and intellectual property with other member companies. 
Tetzlaff adds, "It's this type of collaboration like the COSIA example that 
has resulted in technological advancements occurring at a much quicker pace 
than conceived of even five years ago." To date, COSIA member companies have 
shared 560 distinct technologies and innovations that cost nearly CA$1 billion 
to develop. 
Resources to reserves 
CEO of Connacher Oil and Gas, Chris Bloomer, says in the report, "There are 
many ways in which technology is converting resources to reserves. The 
better we can characterize the formation, the more bitumen we can produce." 
An example of this includes Cenovus using Wedge Well™ technology to produce 
a higher percentage of bitumen, while working towards lowering the 
environmental impact.  As well, Athabasca Oil Corporation's Thermal Assisted 
Gravity Drainage (TAGD) is a potential production technology for the in situ 
recovery of bitumen resources. TAGD uses electrical energy to stimulate the 
reservoir instead of steam in in situ extraction. 
Tetzlaff concludes, "The successful deployment of new solutions and approaches 
are dramatically increasing recovery rates and reserves. As a result of the 
improvements in recovery and the outlook for further breakthrough enhancements 
in the future, Canada's oil sands continue to represent an attractive 
For more information on PwC's Oil Sands Technology report - Innovation surge 
sparks oil sands opportunities, please visit: . 
Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at 
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SOURCE  PwC Management Services LP 
Abby Yung T: +1416687 8644 
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CO: PwC Management Services LP
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-0- Nov/14/2013 12:00 GMT
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