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Oil and Gas Industry Announces 2014 Environmental, Social, Health and Safety Awards

CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/22/14 -- The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers today presented the 2014 RCE Awards to five oil and natural gas companies for innovative health and safety, environmental and social projects that demonstrate leadership in responsible resource development.

Awards were presented to Talisman (Health and Safety Award), Japan Canada Oil Sands (Social Award), Devon (Environment Award), Suncor (President's Award) and Laricina (Chair's Award).

"CAPP's annual RCE awards recognize oil and natural gas companies demonstrating continuous performance improvement in health and safety, environment and social responsibility," said CAPP president Dave Collyer. "The projects selected by CAPP's RCE Advisory Group exemplify the innovation and best practices that help to elevate our overall performance as an industry. Congratulations to all the nominees and particularly to the award recipients."

RCE Awards are part of the CAPP Responsible Canadian Energy Program. They provide a means for the oil and natural gas industry to share leading practices and to recognize specific projects that demonstrate industry leadership.

Nominations are accepted for projects that demonstrate a commitment to performance improvement in any of the three award areas: health and safety, environment and social performance. The President's Award, which is awarded at the discretion of the RCE Advisory Group and CAPP's president, recognizes a company with outstanding activities/projects in any or all three areas. The Chair's Award recognizes projects by smaller CAPP member companies.

The RCE Advisory Group, which consists of external leaders from the safety, environment, labour, aboriginal, academic, private, finance and investment sectors, selected the 2014 recipients from a record 34 submissions.

"Again this year, the submissions showcase the ongoing progress being made by the oil and gas industry in the crucial areas of the environment, health and safety and social impact. This continued progress, and commitment, is key to retaining the public's support for the industry," said Anne McLellan, RCE Advisory Group chair.

More than 500 people attended tonight's awards ceremony, which included a keynote speech by Ambassador Gary Doer, Canada's representative to the United States.

Details are attached on each of the projects recognized. Information on all the submissions is here.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $110 billion a year. CAPP's vision is to enhance Canada's prosperity by enabling responsible growth of Canada's upstream oil and gas industry.

Responsible Canadian Energy - 2014 Awards

Health and Safety Award                                                     
Talisman - Cypress 3D Seismic Program                                                                                   

Talisman's Cypress 3D Seismic Program was a large-scale, low-impact, geophysical exploration program located near Fort St. John, B.C. The goal was to acquire seismic data while ensuring the project caused no harm to people, minimized environmental impact and addressed local stakeholder and First Nations concerns. A large helicopter-portable component over challenging terrain made aviation safety a key risk. Managing this risk required operations be conducted during spring and summer months. This led to the challenge of avoiding the disturbance of migratory birds during the critical nesting timing window. In order to manage these two challenges, the team applied new technologies and improved assurance activities. The final draft of the Helicopter Association of Canada Helicopter Guidelines for Canadian Onshore Seismic Operations was field-tested for the first time, and practical methods for identifying and avoiding active nests were developed and field-tested over a large project area. The learnings from this program have the potential to improve helicopter safety and to develop a workable, beneficial management practice that could improve industry's approach to protect migratory birds.

Social Award                                                                
Japan Canada Oil Sands (JACOS) - Hangingstone Expansion Project - Aboriginal
Review Group                                                                                                                      

In collaboration with aboriginal stakeholders, JACOS established an advisory group made up of potentially impacted First Nations, Metis locals and aboriginal trappers. This group, the Aboriginal Review Group (ARG), provided their collective traditional knowledge to JACOS and their consultants while conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the expansion of their steam-assisted gravity drainage oil sands project. JACOS provided an independent third party environmental consulting firm to the ARG to review and critique all work associated with the EIA, the project submission and supplemental information requests. Prior to the commencing clearing for the project, JACOS and the ARG held a "pre-disturbance" ceremony to bless the land. The ARG is currently involved in advising JACOS on various environmental monitoring plans and will be involved with observing construction and operational activities. JACOS committed to continued support of the ARG until final reclamation of the project when the land will be returned to the status of unoccupied Crown land and Aboriginal Peoples have the right once again to pursue traditional activities.

Environment Award                                                           
Devon - In Situ Oil Sands Wildlife Mitigation and Monitoring Program                                                         

Devon has oil sands interests in two actively operating projects, one approved project nearing completion and one project in the approval stage. Impacts to wildlife, biodiversity and land are major topics of interest for stakeholders of these projects and Devon is addressing them through its In Situ Oil Sands Wildlife Mitigation and Monitoring Program. The program is a multi-pronged commitment to monitor wildlife populations, conduct environmental research to fill key data gaps and mitigate negative impacts to biodiversity in and around project areas. Endorsed by regulators as the best-in-industry for such initiatives, the program is comprised of these key elements: wildlife mitigation commitments; long-term wildlife mitigation and monitoring program; regional caribou collaboration and research program; bear-smart practices; innovative wildlife inventory techniques for remote areas and hard-to-detect species.

President's Award                                                           
Suncor - Hydrocarbon Blanket Gas and Recovery System                        
         Using recycled tailings water for in situ make-up water            
         Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo                                                                                          

Hydrocarbon Blanket Gas and Recovery System

While Suncor's engineering team was evaluating the hydrocarbon blanket gas and recovery system to reduce cold venting from cargo tank void space on the Terra Nova floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), it determined the system also could significantly reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In conventional cargo systems, inert gas is used to maintain a positive pressure in storage tanks. During production, the inert gas and VOCs from the crude are vented into the atmosphere. The new system blankets the FPSO's cargo tanks with pure hydrocarbon gas, which is recovered to process during production, effectively eliminating the release of VOCs. The system was commissioned in 2013 and is intended to operate for the remaining life of the Terra Nova field so the environmental and economic benefits will be returned many times over. In addition, the commissioning of this system significantly contributes to reducing Suncor's corporate VOC emission profile.

Using recycled tailings water for in situ make-up water

Beginning in February 2013, Suncor implemented an industry-leading process to send tailings water from its oil sands base plant through an existing pipeline to be used as make-up water at its Firebag in situ operations. Reusing tailings water for the in situ extraction process is new not only to Suncor, but to the entire industry. Through this initiative, Suncor demonstrated that reusing water from the end of one project's cycle in another part of the business improves Suncor's water management practices over a larger geographical area and can reduce overall regional fresh water use. Suncor cleared the technical, regulatory and operational hurdles to allow sharing of recycled tailings between its operations and is further expanding the project by collaborating with industry partners to send Suncor's tailings water to other in situ operators to reduce regional water demand across the industry.

Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo

Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo (SPWB) is a five-year, community-driven collaboration project between stakeholders in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the University of Waterloo and Suncor Energy Foundation to build capacity in the non-profit sector in this region of northeast Alberta. The project emerged from Suncor's vision to build further quality of life in Wood Buffalo by developing and sustaining innovation and social change. Through a shared vision, SPWB brought together stakeholders from the energy industry, the private sector, the non-profit sector, government and higher education. Together, processes and tools are developed to help the community become more socially prosperous, resilient and sustainable. SPWB reflects Suncor's community investment strategy and commitment to collaboration for long-term sustainability. The project's goal is to strengthen the community benefit (non-profit) sector, allowing groups to be more proactive, better equipped to deal with rapid regional growth and able to support vibrant communities.

Chair's Award                                                               
Laricina - Heavy Equipment Training Program                                                                              

Laricina's heavy equipment training program was designed to enhance the Bigstone Cree Nation (BCN) by providing long-term benefits such as team building, economic development, project management skills, land-use planning, and increased development of skilled labour while building a sustainable community. The community investment partnership included the BCN, Alberta Works Human Services, Laricina, and two industry developers. It delivered a three-month training program for 12 local residents in operations of equipment used in industry operations such as rock trucks, excavators, bulldozers, skidsteers and graders. The program involved training in landscaping, ditching, grading and finishing a newly constructed, 11-home housing subdivision to engineered standards within the BCN reserve. The subdivision was expanded to include an additional 22-home subdivision. Upgrades included two kilometres of public roads and a new emergency access road.

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