Program Description

The Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF) is a unique collaborative platform between the Government of Alberta , the Alberta Energy Regulator, and industry, and is led by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (EPAC), and managed by PTAC. AUPRF was launched with the idea that through innovation and collaborative R&D, we can minimize the environmental impact of our industry economically.

Since inception, 270 applied research projects have been completed through the AUPRF program. Each project launched provides practical science based studies to address knowledge gaps in the understanding and management of high priority environmental and social matters related to oil and gas exploration and development in Alberta, and assists in the development of smart policies, regulations and best practices for the sustainable development of Alberta’s world class hydrocarbon resources. The program has resulted in significant contributions in the areas of cost reduction, ease of operations, social license, regulatory impact on risk influenced by science based choice, fast tracking development activities, avoiding unnecessary cost/adversarial hearings, and helping the regulator understand the environmental impact of hydrocarbon development.

In addition, the AUPRF program has proven against the conventional wisdom of economics that there is a trade-off between social and economic performance. Business can indeed make profit while solving social and environmental problems.


The fRI Caribou Research Program has published results of seismic line research supported by PTAC. They found that many decades old legacy seismic lines are not regenerating towards the surrounding forest, but instead support lots of understory forage attractive to bears and moose, which in turn attract other predators. Active restoration may be required to remove this forage from the landscape. In a second paper, the Caribou Program identified which lines to target for restoration by mapping where high use of off highway vehicles may be destroying vegetation and compacting soil, preventing natural regeneration on legacy seismic lines.
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