Abstract

The Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD) is a federal program that consists of a vast array of non-nuclear energy R&D activities. The $52.5M/y R&D budget, managed by Natural Resources Canada, is distributed across twelve federal departments and agencies that deliver horizontally on coordinated research activities. The Office of Energy Research and Development has recently implemented results-based management for PERD, which will improve the strategic management of the program.

PERD currently invests approximately $14M/y in oil and gas R&D carried out by five federal departments and one agency. Upstream activities include upgrading technologies and advanced separation technologies with emphasis on oil sands bitumen. Offshore and frontier activities include basin assessment and geotechnics, wind-wave-current modelling, managing sea ice, icestructure interactions, transportation safety, marine operations and ship design, management of offshore drilling and production waste, oil spills remediation and environmental impact assessment of offshore wastes and produced waters. Cross-cutting activities include flaring, pipelines and soil and groundwater remediation. An overview of these activities will be presented, as well as future shifts in PERD to meet the S&T needs of key stakeholders and the Canadian public.

Introduction

PERD is a funding program for federal departments and agencies that participate in energy R&D activities. A network of twelve Departments and Agencies is involved in the delivery of outputs in six broad areas: Hydrocarbons R&D, Transportation, Buildings and Communities, Industry, Power Generation, and Climate Change. The annual R&D budget is approximately $52.5M, and funds 38 programs that address priorities under these six areas.

Canada presently stresses a sustainable approach to the development of energy supplies. This involves preserving the ability to respond to demands for the goods and services that energy makes possible, while minimizing the environmental impacts of meeting those demands and maximizing economic benefits now and in the future. The federal government plays a key role in sustainable oil and gas development by funding activities that will assess these resources, investigate options for reducing access costs, and in helping to establish the regulatory and technological environments to promote their potential development. This is a long-term undertaking of patient investment in research and development leading to improved codes of practices, guidelines, regulations and standards.

Fossil fuels will play an important role in Canada's energy requirements for the foreseeable future, thereby stressing the importance of the related R&D needs. PERD has invested in oil and gas supply issues since the program was initiated in 1974, with an overall goal of minimizing negative environmental consequences, enhancing knowledge of the resource and maximizing recovery. Table 1 provides the breakdown and relative R&D investment of ongoing oil and gas activities in PERD; the oil and gas portfolio represents approximately twenty-seven percent of the total R&D budget of PERD.

The remainder of this paper consists of an overview of key activities that PERD is currently funding. It highlights a number of selected, completed or ongoing projects presently contributing to a safer and more environmentally responsible land-based and offshore industry.

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