From time to time, the AGS is asked (or sees a need) to perform special investigations involving some aspect of the geology of Alberta, often arising from regulatory hearings, a need to provide direction to oil and gas industry operators, or as information to provincial government policy makers.
Past examples include assessing Alberta’s geology for the storage of carbon dioxide, characterizing the potential for underground coal gasification in Alberta, and contributing geological expertise to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (now the AER) gas-over-bitumen review in the Surmount area of northeast Alberta, which resulted in the shutting in of 146 natural gas wells to conserve the underlying bitumen production.
Most recently the AGS was asked to investigate geological and geochemical contributions to odours and emissions from heavy oil and bitumen production in the Peace River oil sands area. This study was initiated in response to a formal proceeding into these odours and emissions by the AER and the proceeding panel's final report.
3D geological model of the Peace River Oil Sands Area at 50× vertical exaggeration, showing the proceeding’s recommendation areas.