Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Invest in Research on Oil Production Technologies

News Release Release Date: January 27, 2012 11:31 a.m.

Regina, Saskatchewan— A combined investment of over $800,000 by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will help the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) and the University of Regina (U of R) study innovative recovery methods for oil and gas production, as well as reclamation of associated byproducts.

Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament for Palliser, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and the Honourable Laura Ross, Minister of Government Services, on behalf of the Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan Minister of Enterprise, joined representatives from the PTRC and U of R for the announcement. The federal and provincial governments are each contributing $403,791 for the three initiatives through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA).

“Our Government is proud to invest in innovative technologies and processes that enable companies to more efficiently and sustainably develop oil and gas resources,” said MP Boughen. “We will continue to support research and technology commercialization that helps increase productivity, create jobs and spur sustained economic growth. “

“Developing hi-tech innovations to extract our resources and grow our industry while at the same time protecting the environment is a win-win for our province,” Minister Ross said. “We are pleased to support our research parks and universities in developing cutting edge technology that address local challenges and have a potential for commercialization to an international market.”

The research will focus on three clean technology projects that could increase efficiency of oil and gas production, and reduce its environmental impact. With this funding, the U of R will purchase and install laboratory equipment to develop new membranes and filtration systems to decontaminate produced water, a by-product from oil and gas production.

The PTRC will oversee two related projects. It will refurbish a separator unit and construct field test trailer units to sample produced water in field locations for reclamation and re-use, potentially in agricultural irrigation or other industries. The U of R’s laboratory research will be developed in concert with these trailers to help optimize field applications.  The PTRC will also undertake a broad evaluation of organic nutrient sources in Saskatchewan, leading to further research on microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) technologies. All three projects will contribute to increased efficiency of oil and gas production and reduce the environmental impact of these activities.

“One of the most pressing concerns in the Western Canadian oil patch is the amount of produced water during oil recovery,” noted Malcolm Wilson, CEO of the PTRC. “It is particularly difficult for smaller companies in the field because of the costs associated with clean up, so developing cost effective methods is critical.”

"The funding committed today by our federal and provincial government partners demonstrates the value of government, industry and academic collaborations in finding solutions to meet challenges in the energy industry," said Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. "The University of Regina is pleased to partner once again with the Petroleum Technology Research Centre to develop practical and environmentally sustainable solutions that will benefit our province and country by helping meet the needs of our growing resource sector.” 

The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are contributing $25 million each, over four years, to the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in western Canadian communities.  

For additional information, contact:

Joanne Mysak
Manager, Communications
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Tel: (306) 975-5942

Joanne Johnson
Director, Communications
Enterprise Saskatchewan
Tel: (306) 787-7967

Norman Sacuta
Communications Manager
Petroleum Technology Research Centre
Tel: (306) 787-7497

Elsa Johnston
Communications Strategist
University of Regina
Tel: (306) 337-3291

WD Toll-Free Number: 1 888 338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 877 303-3388
Website: WD is online at 

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