Project Research

The documents below relate to various interest areas that COSIA is involved in with external partners.

Visit the Caribou Knowledge Extension Library to find reports and research on caribou protection and restoration.

COSIA Land EPA 2016 Mine Site Reclamation Research Report

This report summarizes progress for projects related to mine site reclamation of COSIA’s Land Environmental Priority Area (EPA). This report updates the previously published 2014 Mine Site Reclamation Research Report.

Partners: COSIA
Category: Land
Development of a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage Reference (SAGD) Facility

COSIA seeks to inspire and stimulate creative new ideas to reduce the environmental footprint and improve efficiency associated with SAGD production technologies. COSIA uses flow diagrams to facilitate the evaluation of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction opportunities by providing a common basis of understanding for prospective technology developers.

This report was prepared for COSIA following the development of flow diagrams to help technology vendors to become more familiar with SAGD operations, including the material and energy balances for various reference configurations in Central Processing Facilities. The report is intended to support technology vendors in identifying how their technologies might integrate with existing SAGD facilities, assist with quantifying the potential GHG and water benefits of their technology, and help with presenting proposals to COSIA.

Partners: Candor Engineering
Category: GHG
Caribou Predator Fencing Pilot

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) Land Environmental Priority Area (Land EPA) has been progressing a suite of caribou recovery tools, one of which is the Caribou Predator Fencing Pilot project (the Pilot). A predator fence is a conservation approach that establishes and maintains a small breeding subpopulation of caribou in a large fenced enclosure within its original range. The objective of the Pilot project is to advance predator fence design sufficiently to expedite Government of Alberta (GOA) endorsement and authorization of a caribou fencing trial. 

Partners: COSIA
Category: Land
Development of a Static Oil Sands Mine and Extraction Reference Facility

COSIA uses flow diagrams to facilitate the evaluation of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction opportunities by providing a common basis of understanding for prospective technology developers.

This report was prepared for COSIA following the development of flow diagrams to explain the process used to develop them and their intended use. Details regarding the differences associated with Paraffinic Froth Treatment (PFT) and Naphthenic Froth Treatment (NFT) are outlined and the GHG emissions calculation process is explained. The report concludes with a description of the flow diagrams and the assumptions used to prepare them.

Partners: Tetra Tech Canada
Category: GHG
Prioritizing Zones for Caribou Habitat Restoration in the COSIA Area v1.0

Boreal caribou populations are declining across Alberta and much of their Canadian range. Key factors causing this decline include a warming climate along with habitat change from industrial exploration and development. Habitat restoration has the potential to play a major role in the recovery of boreal caribou populations, and restoration of linear features associated with industrial development is likely to be a primary component of Range Plans for most caribou ranges in Alberta.

There is a need to develop zones to prioritize habitat recovery within a working landscape, allowing optimal allocation of limited resources. To address this need in the northeast ranges of Alberta, COSIA initiated this project to assess a variety of important values and biophysical criteria that would support restoration efforts while achieving a working landscape, thus attempting to maintain both economic and ecological values. The primary goal of this project was to prioritize restoration in defined zones in such a way as to maximally benefit caribou habitat given the resources available, while maintaining a working landscape.

An Exploration of Conservation Breeding and Translocation Tools to improve the Conservation Status of Boreal Caribou Populations in Western Canada

Woodland caribou populations are declining and caribou are listed as "threatened" federally under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA) and provincially in many jurisdictions including Alberta. Unsustainable levels of predation, primarily on young calves, is widely recognized as the primary and proximate cause of decline throughout their range.

A multi-stakeholder workshop on caribou population augmentation tools was held in January 2016 and was attended by experts from the provincial and federal governments, environmental non-government organizations, academia, indigenous representatives, the energy sector and Zoo organizations. It was jointly hosted by the Calgary Zoo and facilitated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global organization that supports scientific research and develops cross-sectoral partnerships to foster nature conservation and species recovery.

Participants discussed the range of interventions and agreed that at least one conservation translocation technique (fencing, wild-to-wild translocation, captive breeding, maternal penning), or combination thereof, will be worthwhile pursuing to reduce the likelihood of extinction of at least one boreal caribou herd in Western Canada.

Energy Efficiency Technology Scan for Oil Sands Activities

Minimizing natural gas and electricity consumption is of major importance in order to ensure the economic viability and environmental performance of in situ oil sands production. In this context, COSIA sought support in identifying energy efficient technologies relevant for in situ oil sands operations.

COSIA asked: “What are the most promising technologies among those covered by energy efficiency funding programs and research institutes, able to address specific in situ oil sands energy efficiency challenges in the short and medium term?”

A large number of energy efficiency technologies (62 technologies) potentially relevant for oil sands operations have been identified through the study.



Category: GHG
Unified Fines Method for minus 44 micron material and for Particle Size Distribution

A Fines Measurement Working Group (FMWG) consisting of industry practitioners was created by COSIA, and supported by personnel from the AER, to carry out and direct work to develop the standard method contained in this document. The mandate of this group, with input from AER, was to develop a technically accurate and effective method of measuring mineral solids less than 44 microns in size, with incidental benefit to overall particle size distribution.

Partners: COSIA
Category: Tailings

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