Petroleum industry seeks new ways to improve environmental performance

November 10, 2011

Doug Kulba of Alberta Environment said the Partners in Resource Excellence program has changed the government’s role from enforcement to collaboration for improved energy industry standards. “Our legislative requirements were never designed to help the industry be prosperous,” he said.

Governments have historically not worked to solve problems. Instead, it looked to see who was in non-compliance and acted like the police when pursuing offenders. Companies were expected to meet minimum standards that were never adequate. Government departments worked with energy companies to set up the Evergreen Centre for resource excellence and innovation, a 14 acre site in northern Alberta to demonstrate new road building techniques, better ways to cross water courses and install pipelines. It can train staff and find improved methods that go beyond minimum standards. Working together, they developed new techniques to install pipelines with less impact. Specialized plows, ditchers and compaction equipment were invented to minimize the amount of land disturbance. Topsoil is salvaged and the new system uses precise depth control.

Petroleum industry seeks new ways to improve environmental performance