Canada: FMC´s Overview Of Significant Developments In The Canadian Energy Industry - May, 2009

Last Updated: June 21 2009

Article by Doug Black, Q.C., Bill Gilliland, Alex MacWilliam, Miles Pittman, Anne Calverley, Rich Miller, John Hurley, Cyrus Reporter, Ron Stuber and Jerry Farrell

Oil Sands News

1. A new study by IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates ranks Canada as the world's second largest holder of recoverable oil reserves, after Saudi Arabia, based on technological advances in the oil sands. The study states that Canada is an increasingly important part of global energy security and is now the number one foreign supplier of oil to the United States. The IHS study ranks Canada fourth out of the top 15 countries in the world, with the potential to increase oil production through the next decade. The study also noted the rate of technological innovation in the oil sands in recent years has been substantial and that improvements will continue.

1. Imperial Oil announced that its Board of Directors has approved the first phase of its Kearl oil sands project located North-East of Fort McMurray, Alberta, estimated to cost $8 billion. Construction can now begin on the plant which is expected to produce more than 300,000 bbls/day of bitumen starting in 2012. A planned second phase of the Kearl project is expected to get underway three years later with a third and a fourth phase set for even further in the future.

The Government of Alberta has stated its support of a biotechnological research team to examine the potential to reduce the use of water and natural gas in oil-sands extraction and to improve tailings pond management. The research team, organized through Genome Alberta, will examine reserves for microbes that exist naturally in oil sands and coal seams with a view to how such microbes are able to naturally breakdown hydrocarbons.

1. Devon Energy Corporation announced that it has started injecting steam into the final pair of wells at its Jackfish oil sands project in March. Production from all 24 well pairs reached 29,000 bpd of oil in March and the company expects to reach its capacity of 35,000 bpd of oil in the second or third quarter of 2009. Notably, no fresh water is used in steam production at Jackfish.

East Coast News

2. The planned Hebron project offshore Newfoundland and Labrador should at the start, recover about 556 million bbls of oil over the 30 year productive life of the project, according to its operator, Exxon Mobil Canada. If all goes as planned, Hebron will be producing oil prior to the end of 2017.

3. Corridor Resources is planning to suspend its drilling operations at the McCully field in New Brunswick, for the rest of 2009, so that they can maintain a strong cash-positive balance sheet. This interruption in drilling presents an opportunity to produce a detailed simulation model of the McCully field which will assist in optimizing future drilling areas and reservoir performance.

West Coast News

4. Calfrac Well Services is estimating that it will complete 500 wells in the Montney formation this year, an increase over the 150 wells Calfrac drilled in 2007. This is significant in terms of the growth in the area, located in Northeastern British Columbia, despite the economic downturn. Industry estimates of 4,000 fracs in both Montney and Horn River also indicate growth.

4. Trilogy Energy Trust plans to spend roughly $80 million this year, including funds for drilling four more horizontal wells into the Montney. Each well costs approximately $3.5 million to drill, complete and tie in.

4. Harvest Energy Trust stated economics at Hay River, located in Northeastern British Columbia, remain robust at present oil prices. The company is making use of waterfloods and enhanced waterflood technology, injecting water into the Bluesky formation for pressure support. Since beginning this practice in early 2008, production increased adding approximately 1,600 bpd of oil. This led to the company's developing about 40 additional wells in 2009, about half of which were water injectors.

4. NOVA Gas has proposed a pipeline out of Northeastern British Columbia to transport natural gas from the Montney formation. The proposed 36-inch Groundbirch pipeline would transport around 1.66 bcfd of natural gas into Alberta.

Canadian Arctic News

5. A plan to boost U.S. federal loans guarantees for an Alaska gas pipeline could raise yet another barrier to the construction of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. The Minister of industry, tourism and investment for the Northwest Territories says that he plans to raise the issue with Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice.

Alternative Energy News

6. The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) has selected Nexterra Energy to supply and install a turnkey biomass gasification system to heat the campus as well as to anchor the new Northern Bioenergy Innovation Centre at their Prince George, B.C. campus. According to Nexterra, this system is part of a $14.8 million project at UNBC. The gasification system will convert wood residue into synthetic gas or syngas which is designed to displace up to 85% of the natural gas that is currently used to heat the campus. UNBC aims to reduce its fossil fuel consumption by 80,000 gigajoules per year.

On the Horizon

Federal Environment Minister stated the government's plans to implement forced cuts to industrial greenhouse gas emissions will be delayed until the United States implements similar reductions. Now that Canada will be co-ordinating with the United States, any forced cuts will be staggered over a four-year time period beginning in 2012. As such federally regulated cuts to greenhouse gases will not come into effect on January 1, 2010 as the government previously indicated. This decision was made with a view to preserving industrial competitiveness, protecting jobs and protecting investment in Canada. Additionally, the Minister anticipates the complex regulatory framework will take most of 2010 to develop, making a 2012 start date not that far in the future.

Doing Business in Canada: Practical Considerations for Investors

FMC has recently updated our Doing Business in Canada publication. The document provides a general overivew and practical considerations on the establishment, acquisition or conduct of a business in Canada.

Click here to open the publication.

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
23 Oct 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

Dentons and SheEO are coming together for an evening of #radicalgenerosity on October 23, 2017. Meet Vicki Saunders, Founder of SheEO, and learn about how SheEO is changing the landscape for female entrepreneurs.

23 Oct 2018, Seminar, Montreal, Canada

Dentons is pleased to invite you to join us for a breakfast seminar as part of the Les Matinées Dentons series on issues relevant to you and your business.

24 Oct 2018, Other, Toronto, Canada

If you build it, claims may come. Join the Dentons Construction group for breakfast and an informative discussion on current topics in construction law.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
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
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions