Open File Report 2015-07


In this report we present the results from the investigation of geological and geochemical contributions to odours and emissions from heavy oil and bitumen production in the Peace River Oil Sands (PROS) Area in Alberta. This study was initiated in response to a formal proceeding into these odours and emissions by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and the panel's final report (Decision 2014 ABAER 005: Report of Recommendations on Odours and Emissions in the Peace River Area), and included the creation of a three-dimensional (3-D) geological model, designing and implementing a petroleum sampling and analysis program, and defining geological plays and heavy oil and bitumen deposit and zone boundaries.

Key findings from this study are as follows:
- In the PROS area, the 3-D zone in the subsurface where the heavy oil and bitumen appears to have the highest probability for increased odours and emissions is related to depth, oil properties, and heat treatment during production, regardless of the geological play or source rock.
- While both reduced sulphur compounds (RSCs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in the produced oil sands designated heavy oil and bitumen, there is no correlation between their concentrations and the oil's source rock.
- There is a trend of increasing RSC concentrations released from the oil sands designated heavy oil and bitumen as the temperature difference between original reservoir temperatures and production temperatures increases.

Anderson, S.D.A., Filewich, C., Lyster, S. and MacCormack, K.E. (2015): Investigation of odours and emissions from heavy oil and bitumen in the Peace River Oil Sands area: 3-D geological modelling and petroleum geochemistry; Alberta Energy Regulator, AER/AGS Open File Report 2015-07, 162 p.