Workshops

In advance of Oil Sands Innovation Summit 2017, we are pleased to offer half-day learning workshops on March 20. Designed to help those not familiar with the oil sands or only familiar with specific oil sands practice areas, the workshops will be facilitated by oil sands experts and provide foundational knowledge in the areas of oil sands generally, land, water, tailings, greenhouse gases (GHG) and monitoring.

The Workshops will also be held at Calgary’s WinSport Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park. Each workshop is $200 each, including coffee and lunch. Full schedule and descriptions are below.

Space is limited, so please register early. 

Workshop Schedule:

Morning – 8:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., includes continental breakfast, coffee and lunch (served from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.)

  • Oil Sands 101 – Introduction to Oil Sands (Land, Water, Tailings and Greenhouse Gases)
  • Oil Sands 103 – Monitoring: Industry-defined Research Needs and Challenges Related to Monitoring in the Oil Sands Region

Afternoon – 12:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., includes lunch (served from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.) and coffee

  • Oil Sands 201 – Water: Water and Oil Sands In Situ Production
  • Oil Sands 202 – Water: Primer on Oil Sands Mine Water Management
  • Oil Sands 210 – GHG: A Deeper Dive into Oil Sands GHGs
  • Oil Sands 220 – Tailings: An Oil Sands Tailings Management Introduction
  • Oil Sands 230 – Land: An Introduction to Land Fundamentals

Workshop Descriptions:

Oil Sands 101 – Introduction to Oil Sands (Land, Water, Tailings and Greenhouse Gases)

This course is essential for anyone new to the oil sands, offering an introduction to water, land, tailings and greenhouse gas (GHG) priority areas and issues in oil sands mining and in situ production, closure and reclamation.

The course will provide a broad overview of the oil sands history, current development and its global context. It will provide an introduction to the relevant physical infrastructure, processes, priorities and the regulatory environment of each of the oil sands environmental priority areas. Finally, the course will provide an overview of current and emerging policy issues and highlight current challenges and hot topics of interest to anyone new to the oil sands.

Oil Sands 103 – Monitoring: Industry-defined Research Needs and Challenges Related to Monitoring in the Oil Sands Region

COSIA has recently completed a two-year strategic planning exercise to define gaps and opportunities related to accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in the oil sands.

Environmental monitoring plays a critical role in evaluating environmental performance. A large proportion of the current external monitoring research is focused on areas and issues that are not actionable by the industry. The goal of this presentation is to enable better uptake of research results by clarifying some common misconceptions and better communicating end-user driven research needs related to key monitoring issues in the oil sands. It is hoped that research will be more actionable if there is better communication from industry about their context, concerns, objectives and realities. The focus of recent oil sands monitoring initiatives and research will also be examined, with an emphasis on exploring opportunity areas and challenges related to monitoring in the oil sands. The objective of the presentation will be to contextualize oil sands monitoring research needs in terms of industry priorities for relevant, actionable research.

Oil Sands 201 – Water: Water and Oil Sands In Situ Production

Building on the foundation provided by the morning Oil Sands 101 course, this workshop will focus on in situ oil sands production, in a water context. It is relevant for those who already have an understanding of basic water use at in situ facilities. We will dive deeper into water issues extending from the basic flow sheet for standard through to zero liquid discharge (ZLD) designs. We will break down and explain areas including water sourcing and return, water characterization, water treatment, steam generation and boiler feed water requirements, and waste generations and management. Finally, the priority areas and COSIA Challenges highlighted in the Oil Sands 101 will be explored is greater detail. At the end of this course, students should understand an in situ project lifecycle and each of the in situ process areas, enabling participants to put the 2017 Oil Sands Innovation Summit presentations in context and understand how they apply to their organization.

Oil Sands 202 – Water: Primer on Oil Sands Mine Water Management

Oil Sands 202 builds on the concepts covered in the morning’s Oil Sands 101 course, focusing on oil sands mine water use during operations and throughout a mine’s life cycle. It is relevant for those who already have an understanding of basic water use in oil sands mines. We will dive deeper into oil sands mine design and ongoing operational issues including planning and use of site water, depressurization management including salt accumulation, treatment (physical, chemical and biological) for reuse and/or discharge, and tailings management issues from the perspective of water (rather than clay) management. The course will also examine challenges including aquifer management, and review closure, reclamation issues and the reconstruction of watersheds with good water quality. At the end of this course, students should understand an oil sands mine project lifecycle and each of its priorities and challenges, enabling participants to put the 2017 Oil Sands Innovation Summit presentations in context and understand how they apply to their organization.

Oil Sands 210 – GHG: A Deeper Dive into Oil Sands GHGs

Oil Sands 210 focuses on greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the oil sands, associated with both mining and in situ operations. The course will provide an overview of GHGs and put those emitted by oil sands development and production in a regional and global context. Both in situ and mining will have dedicated sessions which will share sources and amounts of GHGs, the opportunities for reduction, primary challenges explored, and detail key projects. The interaction of water and energy in in situ operations will also be explored, and a model shared to calculate the GHG impact of new in situ technologies. Finally, emerging and existing GHG regulations will be explained, along with an overview of the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions—from upstream extraction to midstream refining to downstream end use—from different sources of oil compared to oil sands. At the end of this course, participants should be able to put the 2017 Oil Sands Innovation Summit GHG presentations in context and understand how they apply to their organization.

Oil Sands 220 – Tailings: An Oil Sands Tailings Management Introduction

The course is designed for scientists and engineers who would like to develop an appreciation for tailings management issues associated with bitumen production from surface mined oil sands. A fundamental introduction defines the challenges in surface mined oil sands tailings. More importantly, the industry experts will discuss how their particular companies are meeting those challenges. The course will wrap up with a discussion of future directions in tailings management.

Oil Sands 230 – Land: An Introduction to Land Fundamentals

This course will offer attendees the opportunity to become familiar with the environment oil sands companies operate in with respect to conservation and reclamation. Accelerating environmental performance in Land is diverse and challenging, and a core business for oil sands operators. Topics will include a primer on the regulatory environment from a land perspective. Participants will also gain an understanding of the concept of Footprint, defining what it is and how oil sands operators are optimizing use of footprint. Managing for biodiversity in the oil sands region and mine closure planning with a focus on wetlands will also be explored. The session will wrap up with a case study on progressive reclamation in action. Upon completion of the course participants will have real examples from an operator’s perspective of the many challenges and opportunities that are being developed or deployed in the oil sands region.