November 21, 2012
Directive 081: Water Disposal Limits and Reporting Requirements for Thermal In Situ Oil Sands Schemes
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) announces the release of Directive 081: Water Disposal Limits and Reporting Requirements for Thermal In Situ Oil Sands Schemes, which consolidates various aspects of water management requirements for thermal in situ oil sands schemes. The directive sets out water disposal limits and requirements for water reporting to PETRINEX. The disposal limits will require operators to recycle produced water efficiently and ensure that all make-up sources are effectively used. Frequently Asked Questions and Stakeholder Feedback and ERCB Responses on the draft directive are also made available on the ERCB website.
ERCB Information Letter (IL) 89-05: Water Recycle Guidelines and Water Use Information – Reporting for In Situ Oil Sands Facilities in Alberta, and ERCB Bulletin 2006-11: Water Recycle, Reporting and Balancing Information for In Situ Thermal Schemes are rescinded simultaneous with the release of this directive.
Key Features of the Directive
- Introduces the disposal limit formula, which sets an annual water disposal limit unique to each thermal in situ oil sands scheme.
- Allows three years for existing schemes to meet the disposal limit.
- Provides detailed requirements for determining an accurate monthly water imbalance at thermal injection facilities, and includes illustrative examples.
- Sets a maximum monthly facility water imbalance at each thermal injection facility to ensure accurate measurement and reporting of water and steam volumes.
Thermal In Situ (TIS) Water Publication
In conjunction with the directive, the ERCB announces a new, interactive website publication of monthly and annual water use at all commercial thermal in situ schemes. The TIS water publication includes the following, on a scheme basis:
- water disposal limits and actual water disposal,
- produced water recycle and produced water-to-steam injection ratios,
- water productivity ratios (fresh water, brackish water, and disposal), and
- make-up water use.
In addition to the above, data used in the publication can be exported by users to an Excel spreadsheet.
The publication is available on the ERCB website http://www.ercb.ca/data-and-publications/activity-and-data/thermal-insitu, along with Frequently Asked Questions to assist users.
Directive 081 is available on the ERCB website www.ercb.ca. Printed copies of the directive may be purchased from ERCB Information Services, Suite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SW; telephone: 403-297-8311 or 1-855-297-8311 (toll free); fax: 403-297-7040; e-mail: email@example.com.
<original signed by>
Terry Abel, P.Eng.
Oil Sands and Coal Branch