When Kelly Campbell made the decision to move to Ecuador to get her master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Development, she couldn’t have known how that experience would benefit her many years later in her role as Devon’s representative on COSIA’s Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Environmental Priority Area (EPA) Steering Committee (SC).
Upon completing her degree and returning to Canada, Kelly was passionate about reducing GHG emissions and worked on a number of renewable energy project development initiatives funded through carbon credits. In 2011, her experience with carbon credits and renewable energy projects was noticed by Devon. They hired her for a brand new role focused on proactively strategizing to reduce GHG emissions, rather than monitoring and reporting – the first role of its kind at Devon. Today, Kelly is Devon’s Supervisor, Technology Development – GHG & Energy Efficiency, and works with five other employees on innovations to reduce GHG emissions.
Kelly, a geophysicist, spends about half her average day on COSIA work and associated projects, including waste heat recovery projects in COSIA’s GHG EPA. This is where her experience in Ecuador proves to be such an asset.
“Living where you don’t speak the language is really humbling,” says Kelly, who explains that working with different cultures offered new insights. “Now when I work with people and different teams, I’m much more tolerant and have a better understanding of what challenges people are facing when they don’t have the same background or perceive things in the same way.”
That insight helps in her role on the GHG EPA SC, where each company offers different ideas and ways of working. Kelly says it can be difficult to get so many companies with different values, budgets, approval processes and corporate structures to reach agreement, but it is working.
“Connecting companies and the right people together is half of why COSIA is so successful. For us, working with other COSIA companies has been really helpful because we’ve learned about technologies that we may not have focused on otherwise,” says Kelly. “Often it’s really difficult to fund these innovations within one company, but when you start collaborating with other companies, you reduce the risk, reduce the cost and increase the probability they will get implemented.”
As an SC member, Kelly works with other members of COSIA’s GHG EPA to share knowledge and best practices, and identify technologies and projects that will accelerate environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands. The GHG EPA SC reviews every project brought to the table, and being a part of that process helps Kelly identify which projects Devon wants to participate in. It’s a position that not only allows her to share her knowledge with the rest of the industry but also to gain knowledge and information that is helpful in her role at Devon.
Of course, like all COSIA members, Devon has been a contributor of technology, with Kelly leading a potential new joint industry project (JIP) that would involve installing a waste heat recovery Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit at Devon’s Jackfish steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in situ operation to capture low-grade (low-temperature) heat that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. This project, funded in part by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC), would involve capturing low-grade waste heat and generating electricity on-site to offset five per cent to 10 per cent of facility electricity costs. Devon is also participating in the GE ecomagination challenge, which was launched in July to help accelerate technology development in Canada’s oil sands. Apart from the proposed ORC project, Devon is also planning to study other options for capturing waste heat beyond ORC technology.
Kelly’s contributions, specifically towards the ORC JIP, have not gone unnoticed at Devon.
“We’re very encouraged by the traction Kelly and her team are gaining on this important issue,” says Jason Hercun, Director Environment Health & Safety, Devon. “Partnering with the business and bringing new and innovative solutions to the table will only help amplify the culture in this vitally important area.”
Bryan Helfenbaum, Manager Technology Development, Devon, adds “Kelly shows her wits and her passion on a daily basis, tackling one of the toughest challenges for Devon and in fact for all of industry.”