Technology, clear regulation and collaboration:
the answer to the future of heavy oil

8th World Heavy Oil Congress focused on connecting the industry for a leaner and fitter future

CALGARY, CANADA – (September 9, 2016) – Over the course of four days, top executives, government officials and leading technical experts gathered in Calgary – Canada for the 8th World Heavy Oil Congress, to discuss the future of the industry as it continues to navigate through a low-price environment.

The event brought together over 2,200 registered delegates and attendees from 36 countries, who took part in business conference, roundtable discussions, 180 technical sessions, three workshops, awards ceremony, networking events, poster session, presentation theatres and a global expo with 50 exhibiting companies.

The three elements that resonated throughout the four-day congress were technology, clear regulation and collaboration. “We believe in mitigating our carbon emissions through technology, not by going after new oil with old ideas but going after old oil with new ideas,” said Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister of Energy and Resources.

“The bottom line is, we need to create the best, the very best, possible fiscal and operating environment for business while being mindful of environmental impact,” he added.

During his keynote, Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Jim Ellis talked about the government’s initiative to be more open when it comes to providing information on pipelines. “We’ve been all shooting in the dark for way too long. There’s been too many people commenting on the performance of the industry, and the lack of performance,” said Ellis. He added that the regulator needs to step up publicly and clearly state what their expectations are from companies and what their performance should be.

Collaboration among producers with respect to best practices and new technologies will be key in moving the industry forward. During his speech, James Cleland, Global General Manager, Heavy Oil Solutions at GE Power & Water noted that “Canada is seen as one of the best in heavy oil production in the world … our expertise can be used for international collaboration.”

The key takeaways of the congress were optimistic, as innovations and technologies are improving and costs will come down as a result of this. With incremental investments and lower production costs, the heavy oil business will continue to revive and become more sustainable.

Download the Official Event Program