A partnership rooted in innovation and growth
ConocoPhillips Canada named Distinguished Industry Partner for its long-standing partnership with NAIT and role as a leader in industry and in the community.
Throughout its over 115 years, ConocoPhillips Canada — the Canadian division of ConocoPhillips, one of the world’s largest independent exploration and production companies — has remained committed to innovation, responsible energy development and the communities surrounding its operations.
The company’s long-standing support of hands-on education and applied research at NAIT has earned ConocoPhillips Canada this year’s Distinguished Industry Partner Award.
“At ConocoPhillips Canada, we’re proud to work alongside NAIT to advance reclamation practices while continuing to provide energy the world needs,” says Evelyn Ferchuk, director of communications and community investment with ConocoPhillips Canada.
“This award recognizes the tremendous work that NAIT and ConocoPhillips Canada have done together to improve our reclamation practices, both at Surmont and throughout the industry.”
Since 1983, they have provided nearly $2 million in funding towards NAIT’s applied research projects, as well as power engineering and geoscience programs at the polytechnic. Most recently, that funding has included $600,000 to support the Power Engineering Technology program and $550,000 over 10 years for the ConocoPhillips Canada Surmont Boreal Forest Reclamation Project. This project aims to develop innovative yet operationally practical reclamation methods for ConocoPhillips Canada and other companies operating in Canada’s oil sands.
Investing in boreal forest reclamation
Robert Albricht, supervisor, environmental operations with ConocoPhillipsCanada, says the company has made significant strides in its land reclamation efforts.
Their work at NAIT’s Centre for Boreal Research has included testing several reforestation approaches that are changing the way industry stores and maintains soil, reducing the need for herbicide treatments and creating a much better medium for boreal forest regrowth.
“Through working with NAIT, we’ve been able to experiment and try different techniques to challenge the status quo of reclamation practices,” he says, adding this work has bolstered ConocoPhillips Canada’s ability to reclaim the land and to share what they’ve learned with other companies engaging in land reclamation work.
“The project has already contributed to reducing our footprint at ConocoPhillips Canada, and we’re going to continue to learn what works and doesn’t work to improve our practices."
Teaming up for innovation and diversity
The partnership between NAIT and ConocoPhillips Canada goes beyond environmental projects. The skills-based programs it supports are creating opportunities for more diversity in the field.
Growing up with family in oil and gas and as a woman in the industry, Alicia Chalmers, manager, Surmont operations, knows first-hand how gender-representation in the industry has evolved over the past 20 years.
Alicia says that oil and gas requires more technical expertise than ever before. This, she adds, has opened doors for a more dynamic and diverse workforce.
“I get excited about the enthusiasm and passion that students bring to the job and our collective efforts for safe, sustainable operations,” she says. “New graduates come out with a lot of innovation. They’re willing to try new things and they’re always interested in looking for new solutions to our challenges.”
Distinguished Industry Partner Award
The Distinguished Industry Partner Award is presented to an organization that has shown an ongoing commitment to NAIT and has played a critical role in supporting NAIT’s vision and mandate. Selection of potential award recipients is based on the following criteria.
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