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.

Predictive Simulations Using the 3D Regional Groundwater Solutions Groundwater Flow Model Southern Athabasca Oil Sands

In-situ oil sands producers in the South Athabasca Oil Sands (SAOS) region use non-saline and saline groundwater for makeup water. For continued development of their projects, operators must understand the long term usability of the aquifers and potential interactions from other operator activities.

To advance the understanding of water resource utilization and management, COSIA undertook the Regional Groundwater Solutions (RGS) project which used a numerical groundwater flow model to simulate the head distribution within the key aquifers used for oil sands water withdrawals and disposal within the SAOS.

The attached report, “Predictive Simulations Using the 3D Regional Groundwater Solutions Groundwater Flow Model Southern Athabasca Oil Sands”, documents the results of the RGS project. 

Partners: Matrix Solutions
Category: Water
Prioritizing Zones for Caribou Habitat Restoration in the COSIA Area v2.0

This report is Version 2.0 of a project designed to prioritize townships for the restoration of caribou habitat in northeast Alberta. Version 1.0 was completed in July 2016. It was recognized at the time that several iterations were needed to incorporate new information and as new ideas were developed. This report (Version 2.0) is intended to be a stand-alone product, but for the full context, Version 1.0 can be used as a reference (ABMI 2016).

The objective of this project was to prioritize townships for the restoration of caribou habitat in northeast Alberta. The study area included five caribou ranges (Red Earth, Richardson, West Side Athabasca River, East Side Athabasca River, and Cold Lake) that were subdivided into townships for analysis.

Advanced Steam Generation: Technologies for Canadian Oil Sands

Members of COSIA’s GHG Environmental Priority Area seek to identify promising alternative steam generation technologies that can be used in Canadian oil sands operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. COSIA  undertook research to identify these technologies, undertaking a world-wide search to analyze the technology space and identify providers that are well positioned to bring the technology to market.  The study focuses mainly on SAGD.

Category: GHG
Regional Geochemistry Study for the Southern Athabasca Oil Sands Area

In-situ oil sands producers in the Southern Athabasca Oils Sands (SAOS) region use water consisting of saline or non-potable groundwater from deep aquifers for production. Individual operators have completed groundwater isotopic studies within their project areas and adjacent surrounding lands.  While this individual data is valuable for improving the understanding each project area, the limited scope and geographic locations of each study prevent the true value of the data from being realized.

COSIA identified this as an opportunity and commissioned a report that pooled individual COSIA operator data to form a regional dataset that also includes similar public datasets. The result is an aggregate isotope and geochemistry dataset that is unprecedented, both in terms of the amount of data and the regional geographic extent.

Scan and Evaluation of Natural Gas Decarbonization Technologies

In an effort to reduce GHG emissions from steam boilers, COSIA’s GHG EPA members are seeking to better understand the landscape of natural gas decarbonization pathways and technologies.

In 2015, COSIA commissioned Alberta Innovates to generate the report “A Review of Natural Gas Decarbonization Technology for Application in SAGD Steam Generation” which provided a review of the technologies COSIA had received through its Environmental Technology Assessment Portal (E-TAP). This largely consisted of different processes to partially oxidize natural gas into carbon and synthesis gas. COSIA wished to identify all thermodynamic pathways available to decarbonize natural gas and thus commissioned this work. This study looks to understand the current state of knowledge on the different classes of technologies as well as build off the previous work done to date.

Category: GHG
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

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