June 11, 2007

Oil and gas environmental research program invites applications for 2008 funding cycle

The Environmental Research Advisory Council (ERAC) Fund is seeking applications by June 22, 2007 for the 2008 funding cycle for research projects of specific interest to the upstream oil and gas industry. ERAC is part of the industry's Broad Industry Initiatives (BII) fund. BII monies are generated through an Alberta well levy, collected on behalf of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and the Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (SEPAC) by the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB).

CAPP's research priorities for 2008 are to seek out cost-effective ways to:

*measure/inventory and reduce/control air emissions;

*remediate soils whose quality is impaired by salt or hydrocarbons;

*identify and protect sensitive or endangered species and their habitat in areas where oil and gas exploration or production occurs; and

*reduce potential negative ecological impacts associated with the use and disposal of water by the oil and gas industry.

ERAC was founded in the mid-1970's by CAPP to initiate research and technology development on environmental issues relating to the production of crude oil and natural gas in western Canada. Sponsoring scientific research is an integral part of CAPP's commitment, through its stewardship initiative, to continually improve its environment, health and safety performance. Since 1999, the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) has been providing neutral, third-party administrative and facilitation assistance for this program.

In the past five years, ERAC has benefited from direct and in-kind contributions with a value of over $6 million from CAPP, SEPAC, individual member companies, federal and provincial governments, academic institutions and research groups.

The selection of projects for funding follows careful review of applications by a panel made up of three CAPP governors and a SEPAC director. The selection criteria ensure that the projects funded have an Alberta focus and that the BII funding mechanism is not the only source of funding for each initiative.

To be approved for funding, projects must provide science-based solutions to current and emerging environmental issues that are critical to the industry. This fund is for research projects only, not technology development. In 2007, ERAC provided more than $1.2 million to support environmental research projects.

More information is available from Tannis, manager of environmental research initiatives for PTAC, 403/218-7703, FAX 403/920-0054, E-mail tsuch@ptac.org, Web site www.ptac.org.

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