2007 report to our neighbours on
our operations near Cold Lake, Alberta
Inside this report . .
• Employee profile:
• Update on
• A conversation
with Sandy Martin
Published May, 2008
LASER technology 2007 Cold Lake Operations Report
In 2007, we began Imperial Oil first established itself in the Lakeland area more than 50 years ago. Over the years, we've worked
using a new to develop our business and our reputation as a good neighbour and employer. In this report we endeavour
Imperial-patented to tell you how we performed last year and what we are doing today to improve employee and public safety,
technology to reduce our environmental footprint, as well as enrich the community.
improve oil recovery Water conservation performance
addition to steam Our operations include more than 4,000 active wells Water is used to create steam to warm heavy oil
for enhanced drilled from some 200 multi-well pads, four plants so it can be pumped to the surface. Most of the
recovery (LASER). that generate steam and process bitumen, and a water used to generate steam is produced water that
The technology 170-megawatt cogeneration unit. is treated and recycled. However, additional water
involves injecting is required. To the extent possible, we use fresh water
Cogeneration and energy conservation
light crude oil into only where produced or brackish water cannot be
wells in order to Cogeneration is a process that uses waste heat from used. Produced and brackish water are of a quality
recover more oil electricity generation to produce high-pressure steam that makes them unfit for human, livestock or
than would and power our operations. Cogeneration reduces agricultural use.
otherwise be greenhouse gas emissions, notably carbon dioxide, Total water intake for 2007
recovered through by 40 percent compared
cyclic steam to generating electricity Fresh
stimulation alone. from coal-fired power 12%
Imperial began plants and producing
piloting LASER at steam from con-
ventional boilers. Brackish
its operations in 1%
2002. Results from We use approximately
field tests have 65 percent of the
encouraged us energy we produce;
the remainder is sold Produced
to phase-in the 87%
application. to support Alberta's
Produced water consists of salt water
>95% of the produced
water that is recovered with the oil
and condensed steam that is brought
to the surface along with oil during
production. This water is separated
from the oil and reused.
is treated, recycled and reinjected
2007 performance highlights Our 2008 priorities
• Donated $363,925 to various • Drill about 60 wells in six
charities in the Lakeland area lease areas
including $96,000 to the • Start up second sulphur removal
Lakeland United Way unit at Mahkeses plant
• Introduced LASER technology • Take further steps to identify and
reduce our energy use through an
• Planted approximately 65,000 innovative energy management
2007 contributions/community involvement trees and shrubs system designed to identify and
(All dollars in millions)
• Air emissions well below sustain energy saving initiatives
Number of employees 300 regulatory requirements • Continue a $5.8M remediation and
Number of contractors 650 • Improved safety performance reclamation program
Provincial and federal taxes $267.5
• Started up Mahihkan • Begin a wetland reclamation trial
Royalties $344.2 sulphur removal unit with Ducks Unlimited Canada
Property taxes $14.3
Imperial Oil is committed to helping the Lakeland area remain strong, healthy and prosperous. To that end,
we support numerous community organizations and initiatives by pledging our support through donations,
sponsorship and volunteerism.
Here are some of the special events and projects we supported:
Environmental awareness takes root at Imperial Oil Energy Centre: Building a
Cold Lake Elementary legacy for Cold Lake residents
Last spring, Cold Lake Elementary School and employ- As the major corporate sponsor of the Imperial Oil
ees from Imperial and eight other oil and gas companies Energy Centre, the company anticipates that the
participated in Energy in Action, an environmental centre's opening will mark a new beginning for
Learning about how to
preserve the environment stewardship program initiated by the Canadian community involvement in Cold Lake. The Energy
Association of Petroleum Producers and Inside Centre, a multi-purpose education and sports facility,
Education. Students and volunteers planted trees and is located on Imperial Park, a 130-hectare piece of land
shrubs in the schoolyard, and learned about natural donated by Imperial Oil in 1996.
resources and how to preserve the environment. "Improving the quality of life for our employees and
To learn more about this event, visit www.capp.ca. community drove our support of this new facility," says
Paula McMillan, Cold Lake Operations’ community
Teaching Grade Fives about Wetland Conservation and Aboriginal advisor. "It's a great place for people
of all ages. Our hope is that it becomes the hub of
As part of the grade five science curriculum, we support
a program to educate students on wetland ecosystems.
Supporting provincial The program, which has Imperial funding of $7,500 Contact Paula for community sponsorship oppor-
hockey tournaments over three years, has allowed students and educators tunities at 639-5194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
to learn on-site the importance of wetland ecosystems
Work-life balance program
Eco Day Events in the Beaver River Watershed supports her passion to
Imperial, through its involvement with LICA,
supported two Eco Day events last summer, partnering The idea for a suicide
with Alberta Environment at Lac Bellevue and with prevention program for
the Crane Lake Advisory and Stewardship Society. teens in the Lakeland area
Volunteers organized interactive events to give began after a 15-year-old
residents a better understanding and appreciation of girl attempted suicide in
local lakes. Both events supported the Alberta Water the spring of 2007.
Quality Awareness Day through the hands-on use of The tragic event motivated
"The point is not only to prevent
water quality test kits. another suicide but to help teens
her family and friends to
who are struggling with tough
Bonnyville Centre gets a boost issues."– Sue Trefry. want to help others. Her
sister and a friend decided
Understanding that a community centre is important to bring the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program
to the quality of life of residents and employees, we to Cold Lake but were stymied by a lack of funding and
committed an additional $100,000 in 2007 to the resources. That's when Sue Trefry, Imperial employee
development of the Bonnyville and District and board chair of The Vault, a popular youth drop-in
Centennial Centre. We became a platinum sponsor centre in Cold Lake, stepped in. "Starting a suicide
Paula McMillan at the
of the centre when we made our initial donation of prevention program is a huge undertaking and I could
$100,000 in 2004. see them getting discouraged," explained Trefry.
Playing ball to promote community "I knew I could help out."
Within months, Trefry helped kick off a fundraising
Imperial was the main corporate sponsor for the
campaign to bring a suicide prevention speaker to
Western Canada Baseball Championship with a
Cold Lake schools. Approximately 1,600 middle and
platinum donation of $6,000. The event took place
high school students took part in the awareness program.
at Imperial Park with some 225 players aged 12-18.
In 2008, she plans to set up Lakeland's first Yellow Ribbon
Giving a hand to the United Way Suicide Prevention Chapter and continue the initiative
"The power of one," or in other words, you alone can
We committed $1500 over make a difference, was the campaign theme for the 2007 Trefry has experience making a non-profit program a
three years to Meals on Wheels Lakeland United Way (LUW) drive. Presentations success. The Vault, which opened just over two years
made by community recipients encouraged employees ago, now receives about 100 visits a week from local
to give generously. Average contributions per employee teens. She credits Imperial for her project management
rose 100 percent and overall employee participation was skills and a flexible work schedule that allows her to
up. In 2007, we raised almost $96,000 for LUW. follow her passion to help others.
Where we report our air emissions • initiated construction of a sulphur removal unit at the
Abbreviations used in Mahkeses plant. Start-up is anticipated by September.
We monitor various types of air emissions, including
CACs, GHGs, and flaring and venting volumes. Our • curtailed inlet sulphur at Maskwa and Leming plants to
CLO Cold Lake reports are submitted annually to the federal government below one tonne per day.
operations for the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), and
Detecting leaks with an infrared camera
to the provincial government for the Alberta Greenhouse
CACs Criteria air Gas Reporting Program. In October 2007, we
contaminants began the first phase of
Cold Lake NPRI emissions are available through
a new leak detection
GHG Greenhouse Environment Canada at www.ec.gc.ca
and repair program to
Ambient air quality throughout our operations is moni- further reduce the
NOx Nitrogen tored by a network that includes three continuous air-mon- amount of gas vented
oxides itoring trailers, 50 static stations that measure total hydro- to the atmosphere.
gen sulfide as well as two ozone monitoring stations. Data Monitoring is done
SO2 Sulphur dioxide from the air monitoring stations are reported to Alberta using a state-of-the-art infrared camera. In 2007, we tested
LICA Lakeland Environment monthly. the Mahihkan plant and conducted sampling of Mahihkan
Industry and field pads. Of 8,875 sample points tested, 12 were found to
No exceedences of air
Community be leaking, which is a leak rate of less than 0.15 percent.
Association All leaks have been repaired. Our plan is to test a third of
Average and daily results the operations every year and then evaluate the results
from the air monitoring once completed to determine the frequency necessary
stations showed no for future monitoring.
Venting exceedances of the Alberta
Third-party audit verifies our GHG calculations
"Venting" involves the ambient air quality guide-
discharge of hydrocar- lines in 2007. CLO New climate change regulations effective July 1, 2007
bons and other gases continued to have strong require larger facilities in Alberta (those that emit more
from pieces of equip- vent-reduction performance, achieving the lowest ever than 100,000 tonnes of GHGs a year) to reduce their
ment at points such venting volumes since 2004. Vent reduction continues to emissions intensity by 12 percent. CLO submitted its
be a focus area. A recently completed engineering study baseline intensity calculations for 2003-2005 under this
as safety relief valves
recommended actions to further reduce venting occur- program to the Alberta government in the fall of 2007.
rences during periods when we are not able to ship our Part of this submission involved a detailed, third-party
product down the pipeline. audit to attest how we calculate our emissions and to
verify the accuracy of our data.
At issue: reaching consensus on a
Emissions to air
NOx, SO2 emissions Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions Lakeland air monitoring network
(thousands of tonnes) Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions
In 2006, the LICA airshed committee (co-chaired by
Imperial), in cooperation with Alberta Environment,
5 submitted an application to the ministry to expand its
regional air monitoring network to incorporate Imperial's
and other operators' industrial compliance monitoring.
The application was approved in 2007, but remains under
appeal by several community members. Industry has been
2 working in cooperation with these members to try to
resolve concerns. The LICA airshed has completed a
third-party independent review of the airshed network
to ensure that it meets the standards of the Clean Air
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2009* Strategic Alliance, the Alberta government, and
* Forecast is based on current SO2 levels and the use of SO2 recovery units. accurately reflects regional stakeholder concerns.
The mediation of the airshed appeal, which began
In 2007, NOx and SO2 emissions were well below in April 2008, is ongoing.
In order to be transparent about our air emissions and to
Want to get involved?
encourage public access to regional air monitoring data
Committed to reducing sulphur emissions
LICA – Lakeland Industry across the Lakeland region, Imperial has taken the
and Community Imperial is committed to meeting the Energy Resources initiative to share its air quality data from our Maskwa
Conservation Board sulphur recovery targets. We have: monitoring trailer (centrally located on our lease) in
Tel. 812-2182 • started up a new sulphur removal unit at the Mahihkan real-time through the LICA website.
Toll Free 1-877-737-2182 plant in June 2007. The unit is now reducing sulphur Maskwa monitoring trailer data is available at
email@example.com emissions from the plant by 70 percent. www.lica.ca.
Restoring the land we use allows us to store geographic information and create
electronic maps to track a number of activities,
When we cease to operate on a parcel of land, our goal including the progress of our reclamation.
is to restore the disturbed areas back to an equivalent
land use state. One indicator of the success of this Encouraging healthy, thriving wetlands within our lease
program is the re-establishment of native plant species.
Our conservation efforts include the responsible devel-
We submit a progress report annually on our conserva- opment and environmental monitoring of lands within
tion and reclamation activities to Alberta Environment. our active operating area. Wetlands are an important
part of an ecosystem as they provide unique habitats
• At the end of 2007, 65 percent (about 1,900 ha) and allow for species diversity. To help ensure healthy
720,000 of the disturbed area within our lease was
undergoing progressive reclamation.
aquatic ecosystems, Imperial is participating in the
development of Alberta's wetland policy through the
is the number of tree •19 percent (about 560 ha) of the disturbed area is Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
and shrub seedlings permanently reclaimed. Lori Neufeld, an Imperial environmental advisor,
planted on our lease represents CAPP on the Alberta Wetland Policy
since 1998. Assessing an area before we develop it Project Team.
Before any tree clearing or development can take Partnering with Ducks Unlimited Canada
place, Imperial must submit for approval detailed
pre-disturbance assessment and reclamation plans to In 2007, we formed a partnership with Ducks Unlimited
the government. As part of this assessment in 2007, Canada to evaluate how best to restore a wetland area.
Nu Nennè-AXYS Inc., a company that is majority We have received approval from Alberta Environment
owned by Cold Lake First Nations, facilitated the and, in March, we began reclamation work. The work
identification of areas of significance for traditional involves removing the clay cap and geotextile liner that
Aboriginal land uses. Our plans include information is placed over a wetland area prior to construction of a
on the soils, topography and vegetation at a site, as well new pad. Since the seed bank (the presence of healthy
as an ecological classification of an area that is to be seeds in a wetland) has not been disturbed, natural veg-
developed. The informa- etation should re-establish over time, once the top
Mahihkan tion is then used to out- layer of clay is removed. Ducks Unlimited will assist
line the activities Imperial Imperial in the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of
West Nabiye will take to restore the the trial site.
land when it ceases to BRWA designated official planning and advisory council
operate on it.
In 2007, Alberta Environment designated the Beaver
An update on our River Watershed Alliance (BRWA) the official water-
major capital projects shed planning and advisory council for the river basin.
North Whenever we make a The BRWA operates under the umbrella of LICA, and
decision to expand our is co-chaired by Imperial. Key projects for 2008 include:
facilities, one of our key • lake sampling through the Alberta Lake
priorities is to mitigate the Management Society;
impact development will
K-Trunk • creating a web-based portal to allow public access
have on the environment.
Mahkeses to groundwater information;
To accommodate future
growth, we have expand- • establishing an aquatics ecosystem health
ed our landfill and lime- monitoring program; and
sludge capabilities. • restoring a wetland near Cold Lake First Nations.
In 2008-9, we plan to drill 40-50 exploration (or temporary) wells In 2007, we enlarged an
in the six circled areas. Outlined in purple is where we conducted a existing landfill cell and Remediation trial with plants ends
3-D seismic program in 2007-8. We plan to continue the program began construction on In 2007, we did not continue with the phytoremedia-
in the areas outlined in green (2008) and red (2009). a new cell. We have tion trial (using plants to remediate hydrocarbon-
received regulatory approval and construction is under- impacted soil) reported on in prior years. Unfortunately,
way to add a second lagoon to hold non-hazardous lime due to variability throughout the area in the amount of
sludge, a by-product of the water-softening process. hydrocarbons in the ground and other technical limita-
Electronically tracking changes to our lease's landscape tions in measuring the extent of the impact, we were
of our lease is made
To get a better understanding of the changes that occur
to our site's landscape over time due to manmade and
natural events, we have begun using an electronic
unable to determine the success of the trial. Instead, we
did extensive soil sampling to better understand the
variability. The next steps are to define new remedia-
up of wetlands. tion goals that are specific to the area and consider
environmental data management system. The software other remediation technologies.
Interview with Sandy Martin
Cold Lake Operations manager
metre per year so these wells won't be affected. In the
areas where groundwater is regionally connected, the
nearest domestic wells in the direction of groundwater
flow are about 5-10 km away. Groundwater here still moves
relatively slowly at about 100 metres per year and field
experiments are monitoring how far arsenic will move
before it returns to the sands. Our field experiments will
Why does CLO issue this report? continue for many years.
Residents of Cold Lake, Bonnyville and surrounding area What is being done to prevent soil and
“Last year, want to know about our performance and I believe that it is
in our best interest to be transparent about our results, even
Our primary focus is to maintain the physical integrity of the
our safety if it means showing that there's room for improvement. almost 4,000 producing wells we have on our leases. Every
Where could the operations improve? well we operate has a steel pipe covering, or well casing,
performance Last year, our safety performance improved considerably underground. The job of the casing is to contain well fluids
improved compared to 2006 and we continue to work with our and prevent leaks into the surrounding soil. This casing has
to stand up to a lot of stress, including hot temperatures,
contractors to ensure that Imperial's work site is the
considerably . . . . safest in industry. That being said, more could be done. high pressure, corrosion and seismic activity. Annually,
We've introduced additional initiatives such as contractor we test to ensure that we are utilizing the latest knowledge
That being said, supervisor safety competence evaluations and a loss and methods. Last year, we again commissioned a team to
prevention system. We will continue to strive for a work- further improve upon our practices.
more could place where "nobody gets hurt." Have changes been made based on the
be done.” Do your operations increase arsenic levels in groundwater? team's recommendations?
We now know that the heat from the steam we inject In terms of prevention, we've upgraded how we protect
underground encourages the release of naturally our wells between steaming cycles. To improve upon our
present arsenic from sand into groundwater where the detection of leaks, we've beefed up our seismic monitoring
hot pipes pass through the on new wells, and we pressure test our wells earlier in their
Safety performance aquifers. The release, however, lives and more often to ensure they are structurally sound
Number of incidents per 200,000 stops once steaming ceases. and ready for steam. Finally, we've increased the amount
hours worked. A rate of 1.0 represents What we have found in lab experi- of equipment and materials near the well to aid in rapid
one injury per 100 workers in one year. response in the event that a failure occurs.
ments – and what is beginning to
4.0 be shown in the field – is that the
Cold Lake employees/ Are you prepared if oil was to contaminate surface water?
contractors incident rate released arsenic re-absorbs when Although Imperial has never had a marine spill, our rapid
it contacts cooler sediment. response team has been trained and is properly equipped
3.0 Oil and gas industry employees/
contractors incident rate Could well water be affected by to act quickly to minimize any risk to themselves, neigh-
released arsenic? bours and the environment. Two of our employees are
2.0 Based on our monitoring to date, steering committee members of Western Canadian Spill
released arsenic has not impacted Services, and several of our operations staff are trained as
local water wells. Throughout key responders and regularly participate in their exercises.
1.0 much of our operation, groundwa- Do you have a question for Sandy?
ter is not directly connected to the He can be reached at 639-5117 or
domestic well aquifers to the firstname.lastname@example.org
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 south. In these areas, groundwater
moves on average at less than one
How to reach us
Unfortunately, we had 12
contract workers injured on CLO's driver safety record for 2007
Imperial Oil Resources
the job in 2007. One of those Our employees and contractors had 21 vehicle
collisions, almost all of which were either wildlife
Cold Lake Operations
was a lost-time incident
where the worker had to strikes or low-speed incidents. Although no serious P.O. Box 1020, Bonnyville, AB T9N 2J7
take four days off. In the injuries were reported, we realize we can do better.
In response, we established initiatives such as Main switchboard 639-5111
other cases, the injuries
were minor and the workers defensive driving training, scheduled vehicle
24-hour emergency line 639-5200
were able to return to their inspections and educational talks at safety meetings
jobs the same day. to reduce incidents. We also continued with an This report is a companion to our Corporate
enforcement program involving the Municipal District Citizenship Report (CCR)
special constables to monitor highway 892 and on-site
roads. We believe that with continued application in Visit our full CCR at www.imperialoil.ca
2008, these initiatives will yield even better results.
WB00208 08 05