Baytex commenced operations in the Peace River region in 2003. We have invested more than $1 billion acquiring, developing and operating our Peace River leases and these activities have generated approximately $250 million in royalties for the people of the Province of Alberta. Baytex will continue to produce the resources that it has leased in the Peace River area in an environmentally responsible manner, for the benefit of the community, the Province and the employees and shareholders of Baytex. Over the past three years, Baytex has spent approximately $50 million in the Peace River region on facility infrastructure improvement focused on the reduction of hydrocarbon venting.
The majority of Baytex's operations (and most industry activity) are in the northern portion of the Peace River region. In addition, Baytex has operations in an area called Reno, which is located approximately 35 kilometres south of the main development area.
In 2011, Baytex acquired the Reno oil field southeast of Peace River, which included approximately 40 wells that had been drilled between 2004 and 2010. While the existing production facilities met, and continue to meet, regulations, the existing facilities did not have all of the emission recovery equipment that Baytex employs in new wells and tanks. After drilling five new wells in the area, Baytex began to hear from residents that were concerned about the Reno operations and we suspended our drilling activities early in 2012. Baytex has been working very hard to implement solutions to minimize emissions in the Reno area. Listed below is a description of the enhancements that have been implemented to-date:
The Alberta Energy Regulator (the "AER") has established a panel of hearing commissioners to conduct a proceeding into odours and emissions associated with heavy oil operations in the Peace River area. The purpose of the proceeding is to examine the issues and concerns of Peace River area residents related to odours and emissions associated with heavy oil operations in the Peace River area. The proceeding will also provide a public process by which concerned stakeholders will be afforded a formal opportunity to have their views, concerns and advice considered by the Panel in completing its mandate. Baytex welcomes this proceeding, which will provide an additional opportunity for us to engage with the public about our operations in the area and our efforts to minimize environmental impacts. Baytex has made significant investments to enhance its operations and will continue to operate in an environmentally responsible manner for the benefit of all stakeholders.
|PHASE 1: ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING|
|Written comments to the panel (for the organizational meeting)||October 4, 2013|
|Organizational Meeting||October 7, 2013|
|Written decision about scope and conduct of the proceeding||October 23, 2013|
|PHASE 2: EXPERT SELECTION AND INFORMATIONAL GATHERING (WRITTEN)|
|Comments from parties on proposed experts and reports||October 30, 2013|
|Written coments on the issues within the scope of the proceeding||November 25, 2013|
|PHASE 3: SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (WRITTEN)|
|Written comments on the potential recommendations for solutions within the scope of the proceeding||December 13, 2013|
|Respond to and finalize solutions and recommendations||January 10, 2014|
|PHASE 4: ORAL PROCEEDING|
|Oral proceeding||January 21, 2014|