CALGARY, April 11 /CNW/ - On April 5, 2011, the Alberta Provincial
Government ("Government") outlined new conservation areas in its
revised Lower Athabasca Regional Plan ("LARP"). In this draft, the
Government attempted to distinguish between areas where oil sands are
under active development and exploitation, and areas where there is
generally a low prospect for the commercial development of oil sands.
They also acknowledged that in-situ processes have a different
development footprint than mining projects. In the opinion of the
In-Situ Oil Sands Alliance ("IOSA"), the proposed LARP appears to be
closer to an appropriate balance between regional social, environmental
and economic priorities and the oil and gas industry operating in the
Athabasca oil sands fairway.
However, one significant issue about the LARP, with implications to all
Albertans, is the concern around the Government's intention for not
honoring lease tenure agreements.
Being endowed with a world class natural resource base, it is important
for Alberta to be recognized as a secure, stable jurisdiction in which
to invest. Investment drives job creation and contributes royalties and
taxes, which fuels the social fabric of the Province. What happens when
newly designated conservation areas and properly legally held mineral
leases overlap or are in conflict? The potential sterilization of
investment in the development of our Province's natural resources
because of concerns about lease expropriation or access restrictions
does not inspire investor confidence in the petroleum industry and has
potential to result in negative economic and social consequences.
IOSA members strongly advocate the achievement of well defined
conservation goals through consideration of the temporal nature of
mineral leases rather than expropriation of legally purchased and owned
rights. For example, as oil sands leases are explored, projects
developed, completed and land reclaimed, conservation areas could be
expanded to include these reclaimed areas.
IOSA members will continue to participate in the consultation process to
make our views known, working with the Government to effect positive
change and maintain the climate of prosperity that Albertans have come
to enjoy. We expect that the final outcome for LARP will achieve a
balance of land use planning and cumulative affects management while
maintaining industry's ability to operate in the short and long term.
IOSA is the voice of vibrant, dedicated and forward-thinking in situ oil sands developers. Their goal is to manage the responsible
development of the in situ oil sands industry through investing in new technologies and
innovations to reduce operating and capital costs and continue to
reduce environmental impacts.
SOURCE In-Situ Oil Sands Alliance
For further information:
Vice Chair and Director
Cell: (403) 803-1146
Peter D. Sametz
Phone: (403) 538-6208
Phone: (403) 538-4711
Fax: (403) 538-4755