IOSA Comments on Alberta Government's Lower Athabasca Regional Plan

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.

About IOSA

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:

Patricia Nelson
Vice Chair and Director
Cell: (403) 803-1146


Peter D. Sametz
Phone: (403) 538-6208

Phone: (403) 538-4711
Fax: (403) 538-4755

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In-­Situ Oil Sands Alliance

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