COSIA’s Water In Situ Performance Goal

COSIA members with in situ operations will strive to:

Reduce fresh water use intensity by 50 per cent by 2022.
Water EPA In situ Performance Goal: Reduce fresh water use intensity by 50 per cent by 2022.

Approximately 90 per cent of the water used in in situ operations is recycled. The remaining 10 per cent is lost mainly due to reservoir retention and the need to remove water with high concentrations of salts and other dissolved solids to maintain effective operational conditions. This water needs to be replaced to make up for these losses. Over half of this ‘make-up water’ is saline and is normally sourced from deep saline water zones or aquifers.

Did you know: “Saline water has greater than 4000mg/L total dissolved solids (TDS) and is not suitable for drinking or agricultural use without treatment. Fresh water has less than 4000mg/L total dissolved solids or TDS.”

There are some operators that do not have ready access to saline water sources and as a result need to use fresh water. In most cases the fresh water is sourced from underground aquifers that would require treatment before being suitable for human or agricultural use.

Did you know: “All in situ operators are required by Alberta’s Water Conservation and Allocation Policy for Oilfield Injection (2006) to reduce the use of freshwater sources where possible by using alternatives sources.”

Addressing the goal today would result in COSIA’s members using 0.2 barrels of fresh water per barrel of bitumen produced instead of 0.4 barrels of water.