Imperial is committed to progressive reclamation of its oil sands operations. The “keeping the end in mind” concept is considered throughout all life stages of our projects. To help achieve our vision for long-term reclamation success we are actively salvaging, segregating and storing soil, and collecting and banking native seeds so that these valuable reclamation materials are readily available in the future.
Seed Collection: A key component of oil sands reclamation is to re-vegetate the land with species characteristic of the area’s boreal forest. Since 2010, we have been a member of the Oil Sands Vegetation Cooperative (OSVC), which funds the harvest and banking of native plant seed and research into seed storage and the propagation of native plant species. To supplement seed collected by the OSVC, we also have our own initiative that has collected and banked seed from over 60 species of plants.
- In 2016, the Northern Athabasca Oil Sands branch of the OSVC harvested nearly 377 litres of seed from 34 seedlots, representing 18 species. The Cold Lake Vegetation Cooperative (COLK), established in 2014, has over 15 different tree and shrub species stored for end of life reclamation.
To the end of 2017, Imperial has undertaken permanent reclamation activities on over 116 hectares of land at our Kearl oil sands mine and 685 hectares of land at our Cold Lake in situ operations.
Rehabilitating the environment
As part of our life cycle approach to protecting the environment, we continue to enhance the rehabilitation of our no-longer-needed properties so they can have a beneficial next use.
By taking actions today, we can ensure the land we use is available for environmental benefits and development in the future. Returning surplus properties to productive use is a priority for Imperial. In 2017, we spent approximately $140 million on assessment, risk management, land remediation and reclamation activities resulting in 63 properties put into productive use either via sale or lease returns.