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Oilpatch gushing over geothermal future in Saskatchewan

“This is a first for Canada – and it’s the beginning of something big. Geothermal energy can create lots of jobs in Western Canada and across the country – all while helping us get to net zero,” said Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources.

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A company in Saskatoon may have solved some major problems hindering other green-energy transition technologies, including what to do with Canada’s large oil and gas-based workforce moving toward 2050 and net-zero carbon emissions.

Leading the geothermal wave in Canada, Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. (DEEP) have announced their flow testing program in the Deadwood Formation shows the geothermal reservoir is sufficient to support multiple geothermal power facilities.

DEEP began over a beer in 2010, when founder Kirsten Marcia, an exploration geologist from Estevan, chatted with another geologist. Her colleague brought up a different kind of resource under the earth – geothermal energy.

“I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, but obviously he was talking about geothermal. It came at such an interesting time in my life, where I had some experience behind me, I had some skill sets and it was a great opportunity to redeploy those experiences onto a clean energy project. That’s how it all came to be,” Marcia said, reported SustainableBiz.

In 2014, DEEP completed a $2-million Prefeasibility Study, funded in partnership by SaskPower and Natural Resources Canada.

The first test well was drilled in December 2018. Test results were positive, and in January 2019 Natural Resources Canada announced funding of $25.6 million.

DEEP has now signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SaskPower for the province’s – and Canada’s –first geothermal power production facility.

The first 20MW geothermal power plant will supply enough power for approximately 20,000 households.

Geothermal technology accesses naturally heated groundwater at depth. By drilling water wells into these reservoirs, water is pumped to the surface to be used in geothermal power plants – systems which harvest the earth heat within these natural geo-fluids. Once harvested, that heat energy is converted into electricity through geothermal turbine technology.

Geothermal energy offers advantages over other forms of alternative energy technologies:

• Baseload Power – Unlike other renewable, geothermal provides constant baseload power. Where wind power is only produced when it is windy, and solar power is only produced when it is sunny, geothermal can be produced 365 days of the year.
• Environmental Benefits – Once operating, geothermal power plants produce almost zero emissions. Additionally, the surface footprints of plants are small and do not compare to wind farms or large nuclear or coal power plants.
• Economic Benefits – Geothermal power can be the lowest levelized cost of electricity when compared to other renewable. In addition, the production cost fluctuations associated with commodity-based energy sources such as coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear do not apply to geothermal.

“This is a first for Canada – and it’s the beginning of something big. Geothermal energy can create lots of jobs in Western Canada and across the country – all while helping us get to net zero,” said Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources.

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. That's Dr. #SAND to you...

    December 28, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    So, is this racist, or does it cause global warming, or does it spread Covid?

    The left must have some reason to oppose it.

    And how much of the profit do we have to give to those corrupt pricks in quebec?
    Blackie Trudeau is working on the math for that.

  2. working ant

    December 28, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Earth source heat energy has indeed been around for some time now. Why hasn’t it caught on, especially in Western Canada / NW Ontario, etc? At the commercial/ residential level, building codes and “commercial / professional interests” have made this technology financially unattractive. As an example, imagine a residential housing project being designed for “x dozens of single family homes”. They each will require heating AND cooling that would be powered by either natural gas or electricity and require some form of furnaces and HVAC technology. Use of a centralized earth source heat exchange system could replace all of that. The result would be zero demand for fossil fuel at that location. This technology has had obstacles in front of it for decades because it could impact businesses that make furnaces, HVAC equipment, professional designers and land use designers, etc.

    This is only one aspect of the issue. Higher energy levels needed to generate the steam to drive turbines is another facet that this article identifies. But-it is doable especially in Western Canada where we have mountainous regions and geology more suitable to finding those access points. The potential is there, all we need is the decision to focus on it and develop it…

  3. Charles Martell III

    December 27, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    “Geothermal energy can create lots of jobs in Western Canada and across the country – all while helping us get to net zero,” said Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources.” ? ? ?

    I think Seamus is drinking his own Kool-Aide . . . .

    On the West Coast Geothermal Technology has been around for decades. It is expensive to install but cuts both Heating & Cooling costs in your home or business.
    Certainly does not create enough heat to run a Turbine to create Electricity. To find that kind of heat you would have to drill down many miles . . .

    Jobs are created as the projects are built, but then requires a few positions to monitor & maintain the show. Likely mostly done by Computers . . .

    Net Zero ? ? ?
    Why would anyone be concerned about that . . . CO2 levels are a mere 400 ppm today . . . Greenhouse Operators usually raise that to 1200 ppm to increase their productivity.
    As we continue to fill the country with eaters from tropical low emissions countries . . . we are going to have to produce more food, increased CO2 helps that happen.

    No one really Believes that CO2 at 400 ppm amongst 999,600 ppm that is not CO2 can influence the Klimate. If you are concerned about GH Gas . . . Water Vapor is 97%!

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Energy

AER focusing on several energy companies for shoddy work

Last month, the AER shut down the operations of foreign-owned enterprise SanLing Energy after years of not paying landowners, municipal taxes or local vendors.

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Several Alberta-based energy companies continue to face scrutiny by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) over repeated failures to pay fees owed and clean up regional well sites.

Last month, the AER shut down the operations of foreign-owned enterprise SanLing Energy after years of not paying landowners, municipal taxes or local vendors.

SanLing Energy also owed $67 million in security payments to the AER related to well sites and infrastructure decommissioning.

Despite their repeated failure to comply with past maintenance and cleanup orders, SanLing harvested over 3,781 BOE (Barrels of Oil Equivalent) per day from Alberta’s oil mineral reserves for years.

“If SanLing, or any company, wants to do business in Alberta, they must follow our rules. We cannot allow a company that has ignored the rules to continue to operate — that’s not in Alberta’s interest,” said Blair Reilly, AER’s director of enforcement and emergency management.

“Repeated attempts by the AER to bring SanLing into compliance have failed. As a result, the AER has little confidence in SanLing’s ability to conduct its operations safely and is taking this measure to protect the public and environment and to minimize financial risk.”

Despite the outstanding issues, AER’s compliance dashboard flagged SanLing six times previously.

In September 2020, the company failed to pay a security deposit, was unable to abandon dozens of wells as required and improperly stored waste.

They also failed to decommission 2,266 wells, 227 facilities and 2,170 pipelines and did not adhere to regulator orders to complete a detailed operation plan for their suspension tenure.

Sustaining Alberta’s Energy Network’s President Kris Kinnear, an energy advocate and landowner, has growing concerns about how long the energy producer continued to operate in Alberta despite repeated failures to the province and its partners.

“They harvested our provincial resources for years, without paying landowners, municipal taxes, or the vendors that service their oilfields. This left the Government of Alberta to deal with these liabilities,” said Kinnear.

He said the best solutions to these issues often come from the industry itself because their success and their future relies on having a sustainable industry.

“I feel that we can be innovative and by utilizing industry experts and what Alberta has to offer, a system could be created to help the companies that have liability issues so that they can become good corporate citizens in Alberta,” he said.

“They can become part of the solution instead of being the problem.”

Two weeks ago, the AER also announced it would direct the Orphan Well Association (OWA) and working interest partners of another Calgary-based Energy company Mojek Resources Inc. to take over its wells and facilities after the company failed to clean up multiple spills and comply with multiple orders.

The regulator says the escalation of enforcement was deemed necessary when the Calgary-based company failed to comply by March 5 with an order issued January 4 requiring the suspension of its wells and facilities, discontinuation of its pipelines and demonstration of proper care of all of its assets.

The AER said the OWA and Mojek’s partners are to suspend all of its oil and gas assets and ensure they are left in a safe state while addressing non-compliances at Mojek sites and confirming a working emergency response number.

It said Mojek holds AER licences for 32 wells, 35 pipelines and one facility and owes $1.76 million in security to the AER for its end-of-life obligations, along with debts to the OWA and the AER.

“We work with licensees to ensure they understand Alberta’s rules, and the majority of companies follow those rules,” said Reilly.

“When they don’t, we take action to protect public safety and the environment.”

Dhaliwal is a Western Standard reporter based in Edmonton

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Energy

Energy advocate furious no oil and gas companies at Calgary climate change conference

There were no oil and gas contributors in the 3,000 participants in the two-day Calgary climate change conference.

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An oil industry advocate is furious the City of Calgary didn’t have any industry representatives at their annual climate change conference.

Deirdra Garyk has written a letter to Mayor Naheed Nenshi and other city council members demanding an answer as to why there were no oil and gas contributors in the 3,000 participants in the two-day conference March 25-26.

“I attended the City-sponsored annual Climate Symposium last week that discussed how climate change is impacting Calgary and what innovative solutions could be implemented. These issues are top-of-mind for many, and it’s not the overall topic that I’m concerned about; it’s some of the speakers,” wrote Garyk in her EnergyNow blog.

It was titled “Is the City of Calgary giving the “middle finger” to the the oil and gas industry?”

She said the keynote speaker was Bruce Lourie – the Toronto-based Ivey Foundation president, who helped form the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery and played a role in Ontario’s Green Energy Act.

Garyk noted other speakers included Ed Whittingham – the former Executive Director of the Pembina Institute “who became famous when he encountered backlash after being appointed to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Board by the NDP.”

Staff from the Pembina Institute also presented, with Garyk describing them as an organization “that’s actively campaigned against the fossil fuel sector.”

“What was noticeably missing from the roster were members from Calgary’s oil and gas industry that are working on innovations while providing the city and the country with reliable, affordable energy,” Garyk wrote.

“In fairness, there were two staff from ATCO discussing the topic ‘Innovation and Decarbonization in Natural Gas Distribution’, which was a fascinating presentation on the technology their company is working on in the fields of hydrogen and renewable natural gas; it’s important research and something all Calgarians should be proud of.”

“However, that is not the only innovative work being done by Calgary-based energy companies. Why wasn’t there a presentation from such organizations such the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) or Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)? Were they given an opportunity to present but chose not to? If so, did they feel welcomed to the symposium?”

“The City needs to engage with the oil and gas sector to help with the economic recovery and the energy transition. Yes, the City has to be innovative, but not at the expense of the industry and the people that made Calgary what it is today. The climate strategy needs to include and work closely with the oil and gas sector.”

Garyk warned members of the oil and gas industry might take their frustrations out on council in voting against them in the upcoming October elections.

“If Council doesn’t support oil and gas workers, maybe oil and gas workers shouldn’t support Council, especially those members who are running for re-election in October.  Calgarians should be asking their current council member and anyone running in the October municipal election some hard questions about their support for the oil and gas sector, especially in light of the of invited speakers to this symposium and lack of representation from the oil and gas industry.”

Late Tuesday, the city replied to the Western Standard for comment.

“The City of Calgary hosted the annual Calgary Climate Symposium to increase awareness of local climate risks and causes as well as knowledge of practical climate mitigation and adaptation actions for citizens; increase opportunities for sharing of best practices and innovative solutions to climate resilience for the Calgary business community; and explore how Calgary can leverage economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to unlock new business opportunities and strengthen climate change resilience,” said a statement

“The City sought out experts who could deliver content for the two-day virtual event based on the goals of this year’s Symposium, which focused on practical actions for citizens and solutions to climate resilience for the Calgary business community-at-large, to help reduce emissions and risk to climate impacts within Calgary. The City of Calgary collaborated with a broad spectrum of organizations with diverse perspectives to support and deliver this year’s Calgary Climate Symposium including the Alberta Council for Environmental Education, Alberta Ecotrust, ATCO, BILD Calgary, BOMA Calgary, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, Calgary Airport Authority, ENMAX, the Pembina Institute, the University of Calgary and more.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Energy

UPDATED: Chevron stops funding Kitimat LNG project feasibility work

Calgary-Centre Conservative MP Greg McLean laid the blame for the funding halt squarely on the feet of the federal Liberal party.

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In another blow to Canada’s energy industry, Chevron says it will halt its feasibility funding on the massive, Kitimat LNG project on B.C.’s north coast.

Chevron, which is active in 180 countries, holds a 50 per cent stake in the project with Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd.

Project operator Chevron put its interest up for sale in December 2019, but has failed to find a buyer.

The Canadian Press reported when the company put its stake up for sale, it said it would continue to work with Woodside on agreed project activities that brought value or were required for regulatory and operational compliance.

“But in a statement on its website this week, Chevron says that it now plans to stop Chevron-funded further feasibility work,” The Canadian Press reported.

“The project includes upstream resource assets in the Liard and Horn River Basins in northeast B.C., the proposed 471-km Pacific Trail Pipeline and plans for a natural gas liquefaction facility at Bish Cove near Kitimat, B.C. 

Calgary-Centre Conservative MP Greg McLean laid the blame for the funding halt squarely on the feet of the federal Liberal party.
 
“After 15 months of looking for an interested party, Chevron Canada has come to the conclusion that no one is prepared to buy their 50 per cent stake in the Kitimat LNG project, thanks to the Liberal policies and practices that continue to drive investments and jobs out of Canada,” said McLean, Conservative Shadow Minister for Natural Resources.
 
“Liquified natural gas (LNG) from this project would be some of the cleanest in the world, and would displace dirtier and more costly energy resources like coal, and LNG from the Gulf Coast.
 
“Losing this project would be a major blow for local First Nations that support the project and would see investments and good-paying jobs leave their communities. Failing to get this project built is not only a lost opportunity to reduce global emissions, it is also a lost economic opportunity for local First Nations communities and the rest of Canada.
 
“Canada has become an unreliable jurisdiction to invest in because the Liberal government makes up rules and regulations as they go. The uncertainty this creates is driving away investments, jobs, and opportunities.
 
“This project, representing a $24-billion investment and 4,500 construction jobs plus ongoing employment, reflects everything the Liberal government says it wants in an energy project, including rigorous indigenous consultation and environmental considerations. It is concerning that even a project like this has trouble being built in Canada.
 
“There is no time to waste as the world waits for the solutions that Canada is best positioned to provide. Conservatives will work to secure a future where responsible, world-class energy projects can get built. It’s time we did better.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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