Environmental research contributes to our understanding of sensitive habitats and species near our operations and informs both our project designs and our ongoing monitoring efforts. To learn more about specific instances where ConocoPhillips has used environmental research in its project planning in Canada and in other countries, view our Sustainable Development Learning Module video.
Organizations and initiatives that we support to advance our knowledge of the local land and its plant and animal species include:
- Research and Effectiveness Monitoring Board (REMB). Established in March 2012, REMB support applied research, monitoring, and management of boreal caribou in northeastern British Columbia. Together, the oil and gas industry provides $2 million per year from levies and application fees.
- COSIA Alberta Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) Chair. ConocoPhillips Canada leads this research program through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). It builds upon a 10-year Integrated Land Management Research Chair, which we have funded since its inception. The ABC program supports three recognized and respected University of Alberta researchers, who will continue to investigate the effectiveness of local mitigation strategies for industry’s land footprint, high-profile species like caribou, and how best to scale these up to a regional level to address cumulative effects.
- Faster Forests. We are assessing the efficacy of our Faster Forests program, a reclamation program we run in collaboration with industry partners, which plants native species of trees to accelerate forest re-growth. The collaboration includes the University of Alberta and the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada’s Alberta Upstream Petroleum Research Fund, which is researching the effectiveness of industrial reclamation and restoration efforts. We are also working with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, a quasi-government research and development organization to develop a pragmatic and consistent monitoring protocol.
In addition to our support for research on land-based biodiversity, we support initiatives that address the environmental impacts on marine areas. Should plans for our Arctic projects proceed, they will be informed by these initiatives’ findings. These initiatives include:
- Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA). We participate in this government funded, multi-stakeholder initiative that contributes to management of oil and gas activity in the Beaufort Sea by sponsoring environmental and socioeconomic research. Its working groups include Cumulative Effects; Climate Change; Social, Cultural and Economic; Oil Spill Preparedness and Response; and Waste Management.
- International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) Joint Industry Program on Sound and Marine Life. The OGP conducts a variety of research designed to increase our understanding of marine environments. The Sound and Marine Life program measures the effects of industry sound on the behaviour of marine animals and assesses the biological significance of those effects. It also evaluates acoustic monitoring methods and identifies effective models for exploration and production environments. In 2012 and 2013, we contributed a total of $228,000 to this OGP program.
Migratory Connectivity Project