Cenovus Energy welcomed community members to come learn about the company at its open house held at the Goodwater Community Hall on November 25. The event was a chance for people to ask Cenovus staff member's questions about the Weyburn oil operation.
Much of the discussion at the open house involved Cenovus's commitment to being an innovative company that applies new thinking to develop its energy resources. Some examples of this at the Weyburn operation include early leak detection, reservoir observation wells and horizontal water alternating gas injection wells. Cenovus is also working hard to reduce its environmental impact through activities such as air quality monitoring and a technique called phytoremediation, which helps clean the soil by using plants to absorb salt and hydrocarbons.
Community members who attended the open house also learned about Cenovus's commitment to the community. In 2010 alone, Cenovus supportedmany community organizations such as theWeyburn Police Service, Midale and Area Recreational Board, variousminorsports organizationsandDucks Unlimited. This support is both financial and through volunteer hours by Cenovusstaff members. In addition, the Cenovus Weyburn operation paid more than $4 million in municipal property taxes in 2010 as well as almost $17 million in mineral taxes and freehold production taxes and more than $51 million in crown royalties.
The importance of safety is a message Cenovus employees shared during the open house. They wanted to make sure community members know that if an activity can't be done safely, it is not done at all at Cenovus. Every staff member and contractor is accountable for ensuring a safe work environment. Community members also had a chance to learn more about the company's emergency response plan, which is designed to protect neighbours, first responders, workers and the environment. Training is done often to ensure all staff members are aware of their roles if an emergency should take place.
The Cenovus oil operation has been a part of the Weyburn community since the mid-1950s. It currently produces about 27,000 barrels per day of oil anddirectly employs about 70 people as well as many more suppliers and service companies, such as drillers.The Cenovus operation has attracted worldwide interest because it is the world's largest geological carbon sequestration site. There are currently more than 16 million tonnes of CO2 stored underground at Weyburn. The CO2 comes from a coal gasification plant in North Dakota and is used to help Cenovus enhance its oil recovery and extend the life of the facility by at least three decades. Visitors at the open house learned about the continued expansion of the CO2 injection at the Cenovus facility and what that involves.
December 1marked the one-year anniversary of Cenovus operating as an independent company following the split from EnCana Corporation in 2009.