Canada: Oh Canada - Significant Developments In Canadian Energy - August 2011

Last Updated: September 21 2011

Article by Doug Black , Anne Calverley , Douglas Crowther , Bill Gilliland , Alex MacWilliam , Richard A Miller , Claude Morency , Cyrus Reporter , Ronald Stuber and Helen T. Newland

Oil Sands News

1. Current production at Phase C of Cenovus' Christina Lake Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) facility is 5,000 bpd, with average production for the third quarter of this year anticipated to be 18,000 to 20,000 bpd gross. Production is expected to further increase to 40,000 bpd in 2012, with gross capacity reaching up to 258,000 bpd in 2019. Construction continues at Phases D and E of the Christina Lake facility, as well as at Phases F, G and H of the company's Foster Creek project.

1. Following first bitumen production in early July, Suncor has indicated that it plans to expand production at Stage 3 of its Firebag SAGD facility by commencing steam injection into an additional two well pads in the third quarter of 2011. Within the next two years, the company intends to achieve the 62,000 bpd target capacity for Stage 3. Construction is currently underway for the central plant, cogeneration facilities and infrastructure at the Firebag facility, including two well pads for Stage 4, which also has a planned bitumen production capacity of 62,500 bpd, and from which Suncor expects production to begin early in 2013.

1. Petrobank is proceeding with its Dawson demonstration project in the Peace River area. The oil sands project received Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and Alberta Environment approval in the fourth quarter of last year, and will include two toe-to-heel air injection (THAI) well-pairs as well as associated surface facilities. The first well-pair is expected to be drilled late in 2011, and the second in 2012. The company anticipates that the pre-ignition heating cycle (PIHC) and air injection will commence in the fourth quarter of 2011.

2. Pembina Pipeline announced that it will increase capacity at its Musreau gas plant by 50 mmcfd in response to strong demand and high plant utilization. The project will increase total raw gas processing capacity at the Cutbank shallow gas processing complex to 410 mmcfd. Subject to regulatory and environmental approval, the expansion is expected to be online mid-2012.

Between January and July 2011, oil well completions in Alberta (exclusive of experimental wells) were up nearly 70 percent over the same period last year, totalling a record high 2,556. Completed wells were up 33 percent across Canada compared to the same seven months in 2010, reaching 8,120 wells. In the four western provinces alone, completions reached 3,727 wells, representing an increase of more than 60 percent compared to January through July last year.

East Coast News

3. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing $312,900 to two research projects undertaking seafloor mapping and assessment of petroleum resource potential and natural gas hydrates in western Newfoundland and the province's continental margin, respectively. The funding will be deployed through the Research & Development Corporation's GeoEXPLORE program, aimed at enhancing geoscience research and capacity as well as stimulating collaboration and innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador's mineral and petroleum industry. Currently, more than $1.2 million is being invested in 15 projects in the area.

3. Newfoundland and Labrador Finance Minister Tom Marshall has announced that the province's predicted oil production for 2011 has jumped by 18.8 million barrels. This forecast was represented in the most recent revision to the production numbers in this year's provincial budget.

3. The Economic Research and Analysis division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Finance released production numbers for the first half of 2011. Both Hibernia and White Rose increased their production in the first six months of 2011, compared to the 2010 numbers. White Rose (including North Amethyst) produced 12.6 million barrels, an increase of 36 percent over the same period of 2010.

West Coast News

4. NOVA plans to put an application before the National Energy Board this fall for the Northwest Mainline Expansion, which project is intended to increase transportation capacity in northwestern Alberta and the Upper Peace River area of British Columbia to 1.26 bcfpd by April 2013. The project is intended to reconcile the existing shortfall in transportation capacity (currently 775 mmcfpd) with the total contractual commitments for November 2013 (1.25 bcfpd). Subject to regulatory approval, the Expansion will improve market access to shale gas in Horn River and the Cordova Embayment of northeastern British Columbia, as well as to conventional gas in northwestern Alberta.

Canadian Arctic News

5. A major land sale in the Central Mackenzie Valley of the North West Territories attracted successful bids from four major industry players. Husky paid $376 million for two parcels, totalling around 544,600 acres. ConocoPhillips made a work commitment of $66.7 million for a 216,000 acre parcel. Imperial and ExxonMobil jointly acquired two parcels totalling 444,000 acres for $43.4 million, combined. Husky suggested that the prospects for the land are good and a main attraction of land is its proximity to the existing Enbridge pipeline, which transports 34,900 bpd of light oil from the area to Northern Alberta.

Alternative Energy

6. In early August, the government of Ontario introduced a number of initiatives to maintain momentum, stimulate activity and create stability for renewable energy developers in the province. The initiatives include: the release of a Technical Guide to Renewable Energy Approvals (REA), which provides assistance to renewable energy developers in meeting the legislated requirements; changes to the Feed in Tariff (FIT) contract terms, which allow for FIT contract holders to request the Ontario Power Authority to waive termination rights if certain conditions are met; improvements to the REA process, reducing the waiting period for the initial screening review of applications by over 50 percent; and the introduction of changes to the property tax treatment of certain renewable energy facilities.

More information about these initiatives can be found here in the government of Ontario press release.

7. NaturEner Energy received approval for the construction and operation of its 162 MW Wild Rose II wind project in Cypress County, Alberta. The company now holds permits to construct wind projects throughout Alberta representing an aggregate of 375 MW.

8. Millar Western Forest Products is working towards the construction of a 5.2 MW biomass power plant in Whitecourt Alberta. If it materializes, this $35 million Bioenergy Effluent project will utilize the company's current market pulp mill wastewater through an anaerobic hybrid digester. The Alberta government has provided $17.5 million from its $155.9 million share of the Canadian ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change to the project.

Enbridge, aiming to become a new player in the wind-energy transmission business, has proposed to buy-out Tonbridge Power, a Toronto corporation, for $20 million. Pending regulatory approval, Enbridge will also invest $300 million to complete the 230 kV Montana Alberta Tie Line (MATL), a 345 km power line connecting the province of Alberta and its southern neighbour.

On the Horizon

TransCanada filed an application with the NEB that proposes significantly lower tolls in 2012 and 2013 for long-haul shippers of natural gas from western Canada. The proposal, including the illustrative 2012 Mainline toll from the Nova Inventory Transfer System (NIT) in Alberta to Dawn, Ontario, would reduce the toll by more than 30 percent compared to the 2011 interim toll, down to $1.41 per GJ, and the illustrative toll as proposed would be $2.52 per GJ below the 2012 status quo. TransCanada anticipates approximately 2.9 bcfpd of additional gas by the end of 2014, much of it from shale gas production, which additional volume the company hopes to attract to the Mainline. The proposal would further extend the Alberta system to the Kingsgate in British Columbia and to Monchy in Saskatchewan on the Foothills, and to the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border on the Mainline. If approved, the TransCanada proposal would effectively include all of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, providing access to the delivery system and NIT market for all gas connected to the TransCanada system.


In this newsletter, all dollar amounts are Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated. We have also used the following abbreviations: bpd - barrels per day; mmcfpd - million cubic feet per day; bcfpd - billion cubic feet per day; tcf - trillion cubic feet; bbl - barrel; mbbl - thousand barrels; mmbbl - million barrels; bbbl - billion barrels; boe - barrels of oil equivalent; MW - megawatts; kV - kilovolt; km - kilometer; KW - kilowatts; KWh - kilowatt hours; cmpd - cubic meters per day; GJ - gigajoule.

About Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC)

FMC is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law firms with more than 500 lawyers in six full-service offices located in the country's key business centres. We focus on providing outstanding service and value to our clients, and we strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people. Regardless of where you choose to do business in Canada, our strong team of professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and counsel to our clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion to broaden our insight and perspective on our clients' needs. Visit:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
25 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.