December 2021 – Call for Funding Applications Update
The Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund (AUPRF), facilitated by PTAC, issued a Call for Funding Applications in Fall 2021. The solicitation of projects are focused on key interest areas for industry. The priority focus areas include: Air Issues, Ecological, Remediation and Reclamation, Water and Well Abandonment. PTAC received 115 Letters of Intent (LOI) in response to the call. The AUPRF technical committees reviewed the LOIs and selected 49 to move to the full project proposal stage. The AUPRF technical committees include representation from Producers, the Alberta Energy Regulator and Alberta Environment and Parks, and most also include representatives from Environment Canada and Climate Change, British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission and Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources, Alberta Innovates, Orphan Well Association.
The AUPRF program has been in operation for many years, through a collaboration between CAPP, EPAC and PTAC. Crucial to the program is the over 200 industry, government and regulatory agency volunteers who work with PTAC to execute on cost effective and influential research projects. This program was put on pause in 2021 and is now seeing the dual influences of a one-year hiatus plus new regulations (e.g., 75% methane emissions reduction by 2030) with significant new interest by researchers to address operational and regulatory challenges in the sector. Thus, the high number of LOIs submitted for the 2022 program.
The need for innovative technology solutions is increasing to deal with current and future regulations. This fund is unique as it is the one major “industry only fund” to leverage government support. Most government support programs have caps as to how much public funding they will provide.
Full proposals are due in January 2022, and the technical committees will rank the full detailed proposals through February to make a recommendation to the AUPRF Oversight Committee (AOC). Selected projects will be approved in March, at which time a Well Levy request will be submitted to the AER. Funding will become available in June 2022. The hope is that all producers will volunteer to contribute to the AUPRF program to ensure high priority projects are funded.
PTAC will work with various other funding organizations such as, but not limited to, the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN), Alberta Innovates, Alberta Methane Emissions Program (AMEP), Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) (NSERC) and others to leverage funds in mutual areas of interest and to leverage collaboration.
The Canadian oil and gas industry is proactively committed to accelerate activities to ensure that the industry has the knowledge and tools available to meet set climate change targets. AUPRF projects aim to provide practical and credible science-based outcomes that support addressing knowledge gaps in the understanding and management of high priority environmental and social matters related to conventional oil (non-Oil Sands) and gas exploration and development in Alberta. Research results are shared broadly with the oil and gas industry as well as regulators, government agencies, and other stakeholders.
Since inception, the AUPRF program has invested $30M to over 465 projects. In a recent analysis of the program, there was an estimated cost savings of $93 million realized per year with a projected future value of $204 million per year. The savings realized by industry through these studies is often the result of industry best practices and improved policies and regulations.
The AUPRF program is looking for volunteers to join its five committees, listed below:
- Air Research Planning Committee (ARPC)
- Ecological Research Planning Committee (ERPC)
- Reclamation and Remediation Research Committee (RRRC)
- Water Innovation Planning Committee (WIPC)
- Well Abandonment Research Initiative (WARI)
If you are interested in joining any of these committees, please contact Lorie Mayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.