Bitumen and Biocarbon

Land Use Conversions and Loss of Biological Carbon Due to Bitumen Operations in the Boreal Forests of Alberta, Canada
Peter Lee Ryan Cheng
©Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009 (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Highlights:
This paper provides estimates of land use changes, biological carbon content and consequent potential greenhouse emissions due to existing and future surface mining and in situ extraction of bitumen in Alberta, Canada. The highlights of this paper include the following: 1. Land use changes resulting from surface mining and the carbon content in these changed areas – The natural ecosystems that have undergone or may undergo land use change into open pit mines, tailings ponds, mine waste, overburden piles and associated facility plants, and other major infrastructure resulting from existing and potential surface mining activities total 488,968 ha (including 209,614 ha of peatlands and mineral wetlands and 205,590 ha of upland forest). The above and below ground biological carbon content of this area is at least 140.7 megatonnes. 2. Land use changes resulting from in situ operations and the carbon content in these changed areas – The natural ecosystems that have undergone or may undergo land use change into central facilities, exploration wells, production wells, access roads, pipelines and other infrastructure from existing and potential in situ operations total 1,124,919 ha. This area contains at least 438.2 megatonnes of above and below ground biological carbon. 3. GHG emissions from loss of biological carbon due to land use changes caused by bituminous sands industrial activities – Although not all of the biological carbon contained within ecosystems changed by bitumen industrial activities will be emitted into the atmosphere, if all of this carbon (578.9 megatonnes) were emitted, this would amount to 2,121.3 megatonnes of CO2. While this scenario is unrealistic, it nevertheless highlights the significance of potential greenhouse gas emissions from the release of biological carbon stores from those natural ecosystems that will be changed by a full development scenario of the bituminous sands. Our likely estimate of releases under a full development scenario would be 238.3 megatonnes of carbon, 873.4 megatonnes of CO2, or 41.1% of the total carbon contained in the area disturbed by bitumen industrial operations. Over 100 years, this would average out to 8.7 megatonnes CO2 per year, with great variability year-to-year and decade-todecade. Although reclamation will sequester carbon from the atmosphere, it is unlikely to replace most of the lost biocarbon for thousands of years. Canada’s total emissions for 2007 were 747 megatonnes CO2eq from all sources and Canada’s Kyoto target is 558.4 megatonnes. The bituminous sands industry reported emissions of 28.5 megatonnes of CO2eq in 2004, 35.8 megatonnes of CO2eq in 2007, and have been projected to be 113.1-141.6 megatonnes CO2eq in 2020. Citation: Lee P and R Cheng. 2009. Bitumen and Biocarbon: Land use changes and loss of biological carbon due to bitumen operations in the boreal forests of Alberta, Canada. Global Forest Watch Canada. Edmonton, Alberta. 40 pp.

Acknowledgments
We thank the Ivey Foundation, the EJLB Foundation and Greenpeace Canada for their financial support of this project. We are very grateful to Ducks Unlimited Canada for making available to us their land cover data of north-eastern Alberta, for this project. We acknowledge the contributions of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ducks Unlimited, Canadian Boreal Initiative, GHGenius, Pembina Institute, and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society–Northern Alberta Chapter for advancing knowledge on the issue of biological carbon and bituminous sands industrial operations. We thank those individuals whose initial advice or feedback on earlier drafts of this paper contributed to improvements made during its development and finalization: Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (Doug Sklar and staff); Matt Carlson; Petr Cizek; Ducks Unlimited Canada, Greenpeace Canada and Greenpeace International (Dr. Janet Cotter), Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute; Don O’Connor; Aran O’Carroll; Dr. Kevin Timoney; Martin Von Mirbach. The content of this paper is the full responsibility of Global Forest Watch Canada.

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Contents
Highlights ........................................................................... 1 Acknowledgments ............................................................ 2 Introduction ....................................................................... 4 Contents of this paper .................................................... 4 A focus on peatlands ...................................................... 8 Background ........................................................................ 9 Capacity and production growth of Canada’s bituminous sands .............................................................................. 9 GHG emissions from bitumen production ..................... 10 Canadian Boreal Initiative / Ducks Unlimited Canada (CBI/ DUC) and GHGenius analysis ........................................ 12 Failure of studies to perform full bituminous sands industrial life cycle CO2eq emission assessments ......... 13 Methods .......................................................................... 15 Results ............................................................................. 20 Land use changes resulting from surface and in situ mining and the carbon content of the changed areas ............................................................................. 20 Natural ecosystems changed by bitumen surface mining ........................................................................... 20 Peatlands: carbon sequestration loss from disturbance of natural peatlands ......................................................... 20 Carbon emissions into the atmosphere due to loss of biocarbon from bitumen industrial operations ............ 30 Discussion ....................................................................... 30 Comparison of results with CBI/DUC and GHGenius analysis ......................................................................... 29 Peatlands ........................................................................ 29 Under- and over-estimation of biocarbon and GHG emissions ...................................................................... 30 Implications for life cycle emissions of GHGs ................. 32 Conclusions ...................................................................... 32 Glossary ........................................................................... 34 Literature Cited ................................................................ 36 Annex: Review Process .................................................... 38

Figure 7. Growth of bitumen surface mining between 1974 and June 1, 2009 ........................................................... 23 Figure 8. Surface mining footprint from existing disturbances as of June 1, 2009, and from Approved and Proposed projects .......................................................... 24 Figure 9. In situ footprint assuming development of all leases approved as of December 2008 within the Oil Sands Administration Area and assuming similar extent of footprint as the OPTI-Nexen project at Long Lake ......... 25 Figure 10. Natural land cover of Suncor and Syncrude surface mining area ........................................................26 Figure 11. Land cover of Surface Mineable Area ............. 27 Figure 12. Peatlands within the Surface Mineable Area ................................................................................ 28

List of tables
Table 1. Estimates of GHG emissions from the bituminous sands area ...................................................................... 11 Table 2. Reported GHG emissions from bituminous sands industries for the Oil Sands Administration Area 2004-2007 (large GHG emitters; Environment Canada, 2008) .............................................................................. 11 Table 3. Average results of 13 models, and the result of the GHGenius model specifically, of GHG emissions from the production of fuels from bituminous sands compared to conventional oil (Charpentier et al., 2009) .................... 11 Table 4. Estimates of disturbed area and soil organic carbon (CBI/DUC study based on 2006 Landsat imagery) – surface mining ............................................................. 12 Table 5. Estimates of disturbed area and soil carbon (GHGenius) – generic oil ................................................ 12 Table 6. Methods used to calculate land area and natural ecosystems changes, above and below ground biocarbon stores, and lost carbon sequestration potentials in changed areas within peatlands, resulting from existing and future surface mining and in situ operations areas ............................................................................... 15 Table 7. Area changed (and potentially changed) by bitumen surface mining and in situ operations and carbon content in changed areas ............................................... 21 Table 8. Bitumen surface mining areas: original (before bituminous sands industrial activities) land cover generalized classes ......................................................... 21 Table 9. Bitumen surface mining areas: original (before bituminous sands industrial activities) land cover detailed classes .............................................................. 22 Table 10. Potential loss of annual sequestration potential from land use change of peatlands resulting from bitumen surface mining and from in situ operations ................... 22 Table 11. Emissions from loss of biocarbon from bitumen industrial activities ......................................................... 31

List of Figures
Figure 1. Alberta’s bituminous sands ................................ 5 Figure 2. Characteristic boreal ecosystems in the bituminous sands region ................................................. 6 Figure 3. Bitumen mining activity ..................................... 7 Figure 4. Alberta’s Oil Sands Administration Area, Surface Mineable Area, all approved and proposed surface mining project areas (as of December 2008), and existing bitumen surface leases (as of December 2008) for both surface mining and in situ operations ............................ 17 Figure 5. Land cover types in the Oil Sands Administration Area (after Ducks Unlimited, 2009) ................................ 18 Figure 6. Soil organic carbon content for northeastern Alberta (after Tarnocai and Lacelle, 1996) ..................... 19
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Introduction
There is a need for information about the environmental impacts of bituminous sands industrial activities in Alberta, Canada. The bituminous sands region in Alberta occupies 14,000,000 ha (Figure 1), and is located within Canadian boreal forest ecosystems (Figure 2). The development of bituminous sands is an energy intensive process and introduces large industrial facilities into the boreal landscape (Figure 3). The extent of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution specifically is a matter of growing national and international concern (Bramley et al., 2005). The concern is exacerbated by uncertainty as there is a paucity of relevant and complete GHG emissions data available to the public while rapid and major expansion of the bituminous sands industry is ongoing. The growing concern is also exacerbated by Alberta’s and Canada’s failure to curb their large and growing GHG emissions. In 2004, Canada produced 2.2% of all global emissions of carbon dioxide, despite having less than 0.5% of the global population. Canada was also the tenth worst in the world for emissions per capita, behind the United States and a few small countries with small populations and large industries involved in the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels (Marland et al., 2007). Each Canadian produces twice as much carbon dioxide as a person from Germany, 3.3 times as much as a person from France, 3.4 times as much as a person from Sweden, and more than five times as much as a person from China. Alberta, the home of Canada’s bituminous sands, contributes 31.4% of total Canadian emissions despite having only 10% of Canada’s population. If Alberta were a country, it would rank second in the world after Qatar for global per capita emissions (Lee et al., 2009). Sources of GHG emissions from bituminous sands industrial activities include at least the following (Jacobs Consultancy, 2009; Bergerson and Keith, 2006; Charpentier et al., 2009): • Loss of biological carbon (biocarbon), i.e. the carbon stored in living plants, decaying and dead plants and as soil organic carbon, from natural ecosystems due to land use change caused by bitumen extraction; the construction of facilities, roads, wellpads, and pipelines; and other disruptions of stored above and below ground biocarbon found in vegetation, soils and peat; • Loss of biocarbon from natural ecosystems due to land use changes caused by exploration and development for the natural gas used in the bitumen processing (roads, wellpads, pipelines and other disruptions of stored
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

Dan Woynillowicz, Pembina Institute The Suncor oil sands upgrading plant north of Fort McMurray.

above and below ground biocarbon found in vegetation, soils and peat); • Release of gases from mine faces; • Processing and upgrading of the bitumen; • Refining the synthetic crude oil; • Transportation of the synthetic crude oil and bitumen; • Burning of the refined products by end-users; • Transportation of workers; • Facilities construction and decommissioning; • Manufacturing and disposal of heavy equipment.

Canada’s 2007 GHG emissions
“Total GHG emissions in Canada in 2007 were 747 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt of CO2eq), an increase of 4.0% from 2006 levels, and of 0.8% from 2004 levels. Overall, the long-term trend indicates that emissions in 2007 were about 26% above the 1990 total of 592 Mt. This trend shows a level 33.8% above Canada’s Kyoto target of 558.4 Mt.” (Government of Canada, 2008)

Contents of this paper
This paper provides estimates of land use changes, biological carbon content and consequent potential greenhouse emissions due to existing and future surface mining and in situ extraction of bitumen in Alberta, Canada. It provides a special focus on land use change of peatlands, carbon content, loss of sequestration potential and the potential resulting impacts on the regional and provincial peatland ecosystems to continue to act collectively as a carbon sink.
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Figure 1. Location of Alberta’s bituminous sands.
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Figure 2. Photographs of boreal ecosystems. Top: Upland forest (with logging clearcuts). Middle: The Athabasca River delta is one of the largest fresh water deltas in the world and is downstream from Alberta’s oil sands operations. Bottom: The Athabasca River near Fort McMurray.

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

David Dodge, Pembina Institute

David Dodge, Pembina Institute

Aran O’Carroll

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Figure 3. Photographs of bitumen mining activity. Top: Suncor upgrader. Middle: In situ bituminous sands developments are major industrial facilities, and may include an upgrader to convert bitumen into synthetic crude oil. Bottom: Syncrude Mine.
David Dodge, Pembina Institute

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David Dodge, Pembina Institute

David Dodge, Pembina Institute

A focus on peatlands
Although there is a growing interest in the Albertan and Canadian governments to build industrial carbon capture and storage facilities for bituminous sands industrial activities,1 natural boreal forest ecosystems “have been doing the job in a tried and tested way for millennia.…. Terrestrial ecosystems store almost three times as much carbon as in the atmosphere. Tropical and boreal forest ecosystems represent the largest stores. The maintenance of existing carbon reservoirs is among the highest priorities in striving for climate change mitigation.” (Trumper et al., 2009) Approximately 24 % of the boreal forest world-wide is occupied by peatlands (Wieder et al., 2006); 40% of western boreal forest of Canada (Vitt et al., 2008). Boreal peatlands in particular have a large amount of sequestered atmospheric carbon, estimated to be about 455 Pg (455,000 megatonnes) or one third of the world’s soil carbon (Vitt and Wieder, 2006). Tarnacoi et al. (2009) recently estimated that the area of all soils in the northern permafrost region is 16% of the global soil area and that the organic carbon from the peat in these permafrost areas would account for 50% of the estimated global belowground organic carbon pool. Carbon cycling in peat is unusual because of the importance of methane production and oxidation pathways, made possible by the proximity of aerobic and anaerobic zones within the peat deposit (Vitt and Wieder, 2006).

The 14,042,214 ha region of the bituminous sands industrial activities in northern Alberta contains large areas covered by peatlands. The bituminous sands industrial activities are depleting these peatlands resulting in releases of stored carbon by aerobic and anaerobic respiration and the loss of annual sequestration potential. Only 5% of the peatlands in the bituminous sands region need to be drained/removed to exceed the annual peatland carbon sink of the region (see box below).

Carbon in Peatlands
“The C accumulated in peatlands is equivalent to almost half the total atmospheric content, and a hypothetical sudden release would result in an instantaneous 50% increase in atmospheric CO2. While this scenario is unrealistic, it nevertheless highlights the central role of peatlands where huge amounts of CO2 have almost entirely been “consumed” since the last glacial maximum, but could respond differently as a result of future changes in climatic conditions. Peatlands have, hence, over the last 10,000 years helped to remove significant amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.” (Drösler et al., 2008)

5% Destruction of Peatlands Results in Loss of Peatlands as a Carbon Sink
“Only 5% of peatlands in Canada (or a specific region) need to be drained/harvested to exceed the annual peatland carbon sink of the country (or a specific region). For example, assuming 5% of peatlands in Canada were drained and harvested, the total natural peatland area would be 13.2 X 107 ha, representing a carbon storage rate of 3000 X 107 kg C. Carbon loss from the drained peatland area (765 X 107 ha) using the oxidation rate of peat (4000 kg C ha / year) would equal 3100 X 107 kg C. Consequently, the net sink function in Canada would be lost and converted to a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere if drained/cutover peatlands exceeded 5% of the total peatland area. ….. [A]ssuming that these CO2 evolution rates are representative globally, the global carbon sink is nearing the threshold of being changed from a net carbon sink to a net carbon source. Some regions of Canada (e.g., eastern Québec and New Brunswick) where drainage of peatlands for horticulture is prevalent may already exceed this threshold. Moreover, drainage of peatlands in some countries in Europe already exceeds 5% of the total peatland area [Gorham, 1991]. For example, estimates by Gorham [1991] suggest that the Fennoscandia region exceeds this 5% drained:natural peatland threshold, with 31.4% of peatlands drained and that other regions are approaching this threshold, such as Russia at 2.6%, United States at 1.1%, and global average at 3.3%.” (Waddington et al., 2002)
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McLelland Lake, patterned fen, and roads and clearcuts.

1 The Alberta Government has announced the Carbon Capture and Development Council to bring together leading experts in the field to develop meaningful solutions. Alberta is also investing $2B in carbon and storage to reduce GHG emissions and has legislation which puts a price on carbon for large emitters (Specified Gas Emitters Regulation).

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

Google Earth Image

Background
Capacity and production growth of Canada’s bituminous sands
In 2008, the International Energy Agency estimated that Alberta’s bituminous sands contain 1.7 trillion barrels of bitumen. Proven reserves—those that can be extracted given prevailing and expected economic and operating conditions—were estimated to exceed 170 billion barrels as of January 2008, ranking Canada second only to Saudi Arabia (International Energy Agency, 2008; British Petroleum, 2008). This represents approximately 14% of global oil reserves (Bergerson and Keith, 2006). This volume is much larger than that contained, for example, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is estimated to have less than 10 billion barrels (Energy Information Administration, 2008).2 Bitumen production tripled between 1990 and 2006 (International Energy Agency, 2008) and may well more than triple again in the next few decades (Energy Information Administration, 2008). In 2006, production was equal to 1.4 percent of global oil production and to roughly 6% of total U.S. oil consumption, 9% of U.S. oil imports (including refined products), 13% of US crude oil imports (Alberta Government, 2009) and 24% of US domestic oil production. Since 2004, Canada has been the biggest source of US oil imports (Levi, 2009). There are a range of estimates of future growth, including: • If production were to reach 5 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2025, as predicted by the Energy Information Administration, production from oil sands would meet 15% of North American and 4.2% of predicted global oil demand (Energy Information Administration, 2005); • The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimates that Alberta’s 2006 bitumen production makes up roughly half of western Canada’s total crude oil production (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, 2007), and is expected to grow from roughly 1.1 mbpd in 2006 to approximately 4.4 mbpd in 2015 and to about 5.3 mbpd in 2020 (under their Pipeline Planning Case);
2 The EIA estimates that about 10 billion barrels are technically recoverable; fewer will likely be economically recoverable (Energy Information Administration, 2008). 3 At 170 billion barrels of proven reserves—those that can be extracted given prevailing and expected economic and operating conditions— and at a production rate of 1.1 mbpd, there would be 423 years of supply; at a production rate of 3.4 mbpd, there would be 140 years of supply; and at a production rate of 4.4 mbpd, there would be 106 years of supply.

• The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research reports that by 2015, production is expected to grow to between 2 to 4.5 mbpd based on several forecasts (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, 2007); • A researcher with the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board estimates that growth in bitumen production is expected to average 9% annually from 2007 to 2017, and is in line with the average annual growth of bitumen production in Alberta that has occurred over the last 10 years (Elliot, 2008); • The Alberta Government (2009) has stated: “Our knowledge of the oil sands resource shows that it is possible to produce 6.0 or more mbpd from this deposit.” They believe that a mid-range level of demand would result in production of 4.0 to 4.5 mbpd and that this is achievable at a growth rate of 20% per year (6.0 or more mbpd under a high-end scenario); • In one scenario, 8 mbpd was considered as an upper limit for 2050 (CEMA-SEWG, 2008).

Expanded bitumen production depends on:
• Market price for synthetic crude oil (SCO) and diluted bitumen; • Continued availability of natural gas or alternate forms of cost-effective input energy to process the bitumen (e.g., coal, nuclear, toe-to-heel air injection, gasification, asphaltenes, electromagnetic heating), solvents (e.g., ethane, propane, or butane) or biological activity (e.g., microbes); • Global energy demand; • Costs and physical constraints (e.g., labour cost and availability); • Developments of new technologies and innovations; and • Severity of policy constraints on pollution, including GHG emissions.

4 At 170 billion barrels of proven reserves—those that can be extracted given prevailing and expected economic and operating conditions— and at production rate of 8 mbpd, there would be 58 years of supply.

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GHG emissions from bitumen production
Extraction of bitumen by surface mining and in situ activities
Bitumen is extracted either by surface mining or in situ operations. Surface mining techniques remove the vegetation, soil and surficial deposits layer and then remove the bituminous sand deposits by truck and shovel and extract the bitumen by mixing the bituminous sand with water warmed using natural gas (Alberta Chamber of Resources, 2004). In situ technology is used for deeper deposits where natural gas is primarily used to produce steam that is injected to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen which is then pumped to the surface using production wells. The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board reported that 40% of the bitumen produced in 2007 was produced from in situ operations while the other 60% was produced from surface mining (Energy Resources Conservation Board, 2008). It is currently estimated that 82% of the recoverable bitumen deposits will be extracted using in situ technologies (Energy Resources Conservation Board, 2008). This extraction will occur over many decades; perhaps over a century.

Some of the non-refereed studies and reports tend to minimize the GHG emissions intensity from bituminous sands industrial activities by not including emissions from land use conversions, extraction of natural gas used for processing bitumen and a large number of other GHG emitting activities. Their estimates do however, include downstream emissions, such as combustion of the final fuel product by consumers, and not just emissions associated with production (Levi, 2009). This inclusion reduces the focus on the increased emissions from the production of bitumen and other upstream GHG emissions associated with bituminous sands industrial activities. The majority of lifecycle emissions – 60 to 85% -- come from combustion of the final product (liquid transportation fuels) (Bergerson and Keith, 2006). Other reports provide estimates compared to oil produced from regions in the world with few if any environmental standards and poor operating practices, such as Nigeria (Tiax LLC and MathPro Inc., 2009). These reports do not analyze GHG emissions from several sources from the bituminous sands industrial activities, including biocarbon emissions from land use change, biocarbon emissions from exploration and development of natural gas used in the bitumen processing, transportation of workers, facilities construction, and manufacturing and disposal of heavy equipment. However, some of these reports do acknowledge their omission of “emissions that may arise from land use, resource exploration, the building of infrastructure and facilities, manufacturing and disposal of heavy equipment.” (Jacobs Consultancy, 2009) The Council on Foreign Relations Center for Geoeconomic Studies reports that the GHG emissions from a barrel of the bituminous sands synthetic crude exceed the average emissions generated for a barrel of (conventional) oil consumed in the United States by about only 17 percent (Levi, 2009). But they acknowledge that this is due mainly to emissions from production and upgrading, which are nearly three times higher for the average barrel of bituminous sands crude than for the average barrel of oil consumed in the United States.

There are various estimates of a limited portion of the GHG emissions from bitumen production (Table 1). The Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (Bergeron and Keith, 2006) estimated that if emissions in Alberta and Canada remain at 2000 emissions levels and the production of bitumen from the oil sands is increased to 5 mbpd without any further reduction in emission intensity, the bituminous sands industrial activities would account for approximately 15% of Canada’s and 55% of Alberta’s GHG emissions (Bergerson and Keith, 2006). Environment Canada’s National Pollution Release Inventory (2009) reports emissions from 15 point sources in the bituminous sands area (see Table 2). These emissions totalled 35.9 megatones in 2007, 26.0% higher than in 2004. A 2009 review (Charpentier et al., 2009) of GHG emissions associated with only the immediate production of fuels from bituminous sands identified substantially higher GHG emissions associated with current production of synthetic crude oil (SCO) and non-upgraded bitumen, compared to fuels produced from conventional crude oil (see Table 3) (Bergerson and Keith, 2006).
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Table 1. Estimates of GHG emissions from the bituminous sands area.
2000 2 2003 25.2 2004 Estimated megatonnes of CO2eq (eq = equivalent) 2005 2006 2007 2010 2015 2020

Bergerson and Keith, 2006 Bramley et al., 2005 Environment Canada, 2009

27.8-28.1 26.6-27.3 32.2-33.5 39.3-41.4 61.9-67.9 108.0-126.5 113.1-141.6 25.8 28 32.9 35.9

Table 2. Reported GHG emissions from bituminous sands industries for the Oil Sands Administration Area 2004-2007 (large GHG emitters; Environment Canada, 2008).
Facility Name Muskeg River Cogeneration Power ATCO Power Canada Ltd. Plant Wolf Lake/Primrose Thermal Canadian Natural Resources Limited Operation Foster Creek SAGD Bitumen FCCL Oil Sands Partnership Battery Christina Lake SAGD Bitumen FCCL Oil Sands Partnership Battery FCCL Oil Sands Partnership Foster Creek Cogeneration Facility Husky Oil Operations Ltd Tucker Thermal Imperial Oil Resources Cold Lake Hangingstone SAGD Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited Demonstration Facility Nexen Inc./Opti Canada Inc. Long Lake Project MacKay River, In-Situ Oil Sands Petro-Canada Plant Shell Canada Limited Peace River Complex Shell Canada Limited Muskeg River Mine Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands Mildred Lake and Aurora North Syncrude Canada Ltd. Plant Sites TransCanada Energy Ltd. Mackay River Power Plant, Alberta Total (tonnes CO2eq) Total (megatonnes CO2eq) Company 2004 1,152,866 1,896,050 315,940 107,523 465,759 0 4,174,980 165,208 0 231,057 367,271 255,347 8,599,254 10,367,463 419,387 28,518,105 28.5 Year 2005 1,285,325 1,880,603 262,357 110,533 486,764 0 4,128,065 20,082 0 172,717 414,068 26,928 7,694,458 10,357,330 713,465 27,982,695 28.0 2006 1,198,461 2,474,618 417,695 113,496 509,660 0 4,619,666 239,461 0 164,313 372,058 273,511 9,132,040 12,620,212 729,854 32,865,045 32.9 2007 1,155,885 2,68,9 634,016 111,556 634,016 250,069 4,537,337 216,555 132,824 160,202 367,924 480,218 9,261,437 14,936,539 571,520 35,918,445 35.9

Table 3. Average results of 13 models, and the result of the GHGenius model specifically, of GHG emissions from the production of fuels from bituminous sands compared to conventional oil (Charpentier et al., 2009).
13 Models Average Increase Range of of CO2eq/bbl CO2eq/bbl SCO (kg) SCO compared to conventional oil 62 to 164 2.4 99 to 176 3.2 GHGenius Model Increase of CO2eq/bbl CO2eq/bbl SCO (kg) SCO (kg) compared to conventional oil 125 176 2.2 3.0

Surface Mining and Upgrading In situ extraction and upgrading

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Canadian Boreal Initiative / Ducks Unlimited Canada (CBI/DUC) and GHGenius analysis
Two information sources provide estimates of the biocarbon footprint associated with land use changes from bituminous sands operations – a 2008 unpublished white paper from the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) that considered land use changes from existing surface mining and Natural Resources Canada’s GHGenius 3.13 model (2008) that considered some land use changes from existing surface mining: neither considered in situ operations. The CBI/DUC analysis assessed the spatial scale of the surface mining disturbance by analyzing historical and current satellite imagery as well as aerial photographs. Approximately 45,300 ha was estimated to have been disturbed by surface mining as of 2006, an estimated 75% of which was largely composed of surface mines or settling ponds, the remainder being other infrastructure such as plant facilities, roads, and waste storage areas. Three major categories of terrestrial ecosystems were identified: carbon-rich peatlands, mineral wetlands, and upland forests. Carbon content estimates were used based on assessments in the literature and an internal assessment by Ducks Unlimited.5 Table  (Table  reproduced from the NRDC report) summarizes the results. The cumulative production of surface mining was estimated based on government data so that an average soil carbon emissions factor could be calculated per unit of production. Approximately 71 hectares of natural ecosystems were estimated to be removed per million m of bitumen/SCO produced. The loss of biocarbon equated to 0 to 4.0 g CO2eq/MJ of fuel produced, or approximately 0 to 11.0% of the total source-to-tank GHG emissions.6 The higher end of the estimates represents all the biocarbon removed from these areas and being emitted to the atmosphere. The lower end represents the possibility that all the land is eventually reclaimed and restored to conditions equivalent to the original ecosystems. The
5 The citations in the CBI/DUC report (“Biological Carbon Emission Intensity of Oil Sands Mining”) are: (1) Gorham E. 1991. Northern peatlands: role in the carbon cycle and probable response to climatic warming. Ecological Applications 1:182-195. (2) Research conducted on Prairie wetlands by Ducks Unlimited Canada, and (3) Kurz WA and MJ Apps. 1999. A 70-year retrospective analysis of carbon fluxes in the Canadian forest sector. Ecological Applications 9(2):526-547. 6 Calculation based on using upstream gasoline emission production figures, but substituting the Land Use Changes amount of g/GJ, from Table 6-12 in: Natural Resources Canada. 2008. 2008 GHGenius Update: Final Report. Office of Energy Efficiency. Available at: http://www.ghgenius.ca/reports/FinalReportGHGenius2008Update.pdf (08/07/2009).

Table 4. Estimates of disturbed area and soil organic carbon (CBI/DUC study based on 2006 Landsat imagery) – surface mining.
Land Peatlands Mineral wetlands Upland forests Weighted average % of disturbed area tonnes C/hectare 36% 1,347 19% 200 44% 171 100% 601

Table 5. Estimates of disturbed area and soill carbon (GHGenius) – generic oil.
Land CRP, pasture, grass Forest Desert Generic agriculture Weighted average % of disturbed area 65% 10% 20% 5% 100% tonne C/hectare 70 70 10 70 58

report notes, though, that the lower end scenario is considered unlikely since wetlands in particular are difficult to restore and reclaimed wetlands will not have deep layers of peat. In addition, the restoration of ecosystems and the re-sequestering of biocarbon, should they actually occur, could take many decades or even centuries. Two uncertainties required further research: the proportion of biocarbon removed that is eventually emitted to the atmosphere, and potential future trends in biocarbon emissions from mining plus in situ extraction. Further evaluation of the type of peatland disturbed (e.g. bog versus fen); the variations in carbon/methane releases; the temporal patterns of the emissions; and the effectiveness of the reclamation projects would also improve assessments. A second set of estimates is available using GHGenius 3.13, which uses both Suncor and Syncrude’s annual reports to make estimates of disturbed areas of surface mining but makes no estimates of disturbed area for in situ disturbances. The model calculates that the loss of both soil and biocarbon together represent 0.09 g CO2eq/MJ of fuel produced, or approximately 0.28% of the total sourceto-tank GHG emissions (Natural Resources Canada, 2008). Differences in methodology and assumptions explain the majority of differences between GHGenius and the CBI/ DUC evaluation. To better understand the differences between the two analyses, the GHGenius assumptions were compared, by Mui et al. (2008), to those of the CBI/DUC analysis (2008). GHGenius considers a generic, default set of factors for the “oil production” category. An average soil carbon emission
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Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

factor is also derived by weighing different disturbed lands with their respective emission factors within the model. The results are shown in Table 5 (Table 5 from the NRDC report). GHGenius estimates that approximately 59 hectares are disturbed for each million cubic metres produced, which is fairly close to the 71-hectare value derived by CBI/DUC. Natural Resources Defense Council explains the differences between the two estimates by comparing Tables 4 and 5. Part of the differences can be ascribed to the order of magnitude difference in the soil carbon emissions factor. The default generic oil category used by GHGenius is clearly not applicable for bituminous sands, but the emission factors and disturbed area can be adjusted by the user. The CBI/DUC estimates consider peat and mineral wetlands, which have much larger soil carbon factors than those assumed in GHGenius for the generic oil category. The second difference – though relatively minor by comparison – is the estimated land area disturbed per unit of production as noted above. The third difference appears to be in terms of the accounting methodology: specifically the amortization and discounting of future CO2eq emissions. The methodogy used by GHGenius is based on the methodology by Delucchi (1998) for energycrop systems. GHGenius assumes that the soil carbon takes 5 years to decompose into atmospheric CO2eq, such that approximately 1/5 of the loss is attributed to each barrel produced. It is unclear why the Delucchi approach for energy crops is appropriate for surface mining of bituminous sands. The Delucchi methodology amortizes emissions in cases where land is initially changed but crops can be grown continuously over a time period (e.g. a 30 year project life). Thus, to put the land use change factor on a per gallon basis (e.g. g CO2eq lost/gallon), the initial loss of soil carbon would need to be distributed, or amortized, over the entire production volume expected for the project’s lifetime. In contrast to biofuels, the land use change factor for bituminous sands is already on an incremental barrel basis (or volume of fuel produced). Once an area is mined, it is assumed that no further production from that area occurs, which means amortization is unnecessary. The CBI/DUC report also identified several additional areas for further research: • Accurate estimates of the biocarbon emissions associated with bituminous sands mining; • The potential future trends in biocarbon emissions from bituminous sands mining; • An evaluation of biocarbon emissions associated with in situ bituminous sands development.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

Failure of studies to perform full bituminous sands industrial life cycle CO2eq emission assessments
The full life cycle environmental impacts of bituminous sands industrial activities are complex and poorly understood (Bergerson and Keith, 2006). There are presently no full life cycle GHG analyses for bituminous sands operations. Although some bituminous sands companies current annual emissions reports include some “upstream emissions,” such as emissions from mine faces (Suncor Energy, 2009), the definition of “upstream” is unclear in the literature. It appears that it is simply the emissions from the energy used in the extraction and upgrading processes and does not include most emissions from loss of stored biocarbon or other emissions. The bituminous sands Surface Mineable Area totals 488,968 ha of northern Alberta’s boreal ecosystems.7 In addition to surface mining, in situ bitumen production will occur over a projected area of 13,553,246 ha (Oil Sands Administration Area minus the Surface Mineable Area), although the availability of the entire area for bitumen industrial activities may change.8 Few, if any, of the biocarbon emissions resulting from land use change caused by the bituminous sands industrial activities in these areas are reported. The failure to perform full bituminous sands life cycle CO2eq emissions assessments may be related to: • Inadequate direction from the IPCC GHG guidance documents for changes to / conversions of peatlands from bitumen industrial activities;

7 The total mineable area is 488,968 ha; of that, 200,000 ha is expected, according to the Alberta Government, to be mined. [Government of Alberta. 2009. Facts about Alberta’s oil sands: the resource. Available at: http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/documents/The_ resource.pdf (07/07/2009).] However, no explanation is provided for the discrepancy between the formally designated Surface Mineable Area and areas expected to be mined. 8 2.9% of this area is considered “protected area” and will likely not be available for bitumen industrial activities (Lee PG, M Hanneman, JD Gysbers, and R Cheng. 2009. The last great intact forests of Canada: Atlas of Alberta. (Part II: What are the threats to Alberta’s forest landscapes?) Edmonton, Alberta: Global Forest Watch Canada. 145 pp.). In addition: the Alberta Government-supported Cumulative Effects Management Association has the mandate to develop guidelines and mechanisms to reduce cumulative effects in the regions; the Alberta Land Stewardship Act provides legal footing for the Land Use Framework; the Alberta Government-appointed Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council (LARAC) is undertaking a regional plan, and; the Alberta Government has requested the LARAC to consider increasing conservation protection to 20% or more.

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• Inadequate direction from the Global Reporting Initiative G3 guidelines or other federal and provincial government-mandated reporting requirements; • Uncertain time periods for decomposition of biocarbon changed/converted due to bituminous sands industrial activities; • The diffuse nature of the distribution of in situ land use change over a large geographic area; • Uncertain GHG outcomes of reclamation; and/or • The boundaries for GHG analyses are often drawn tightly, excluding potentially important activities with significant life cycle impacts (Bergerson and Keith, 2006).

Cornus canadensis, a common under-story plant in the boreal.

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

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Methods
We estimated land area and natural ecosystem changes caused by bitumen surface mining and in situ activities for existing operations and for future operations (see Figure 4 for locations of these activities). From these estimates, we calculated the volume of natural biocarbon in these changed areas and the potential resulting CO2eq emissions (Table 6). Table 6. Methods used to calculate land area and natural ecosystems changes, above and below ground biocarbon stores, and lost carbon sequestration potentials in changed areas within peatlands, resulting from existing and future surface mining and in situ operations areas.
Major topic areas that were analyzed Land area changed as a result of surface mining Natural ecosystem types changed by surface mining Land area changed as a result of in situ activities Sub-topic areas that were analyzed Surface Mining to June 1 2009 Approved and Proposed Projects Future Surface mining Potential Surface Mining Area Surface Mining to June 1 2009 Approved and Proposed Projects Future Surface mining Potential Surface Mining Area In situ leases to Dec 30 2008 Future in situ activities Surface Mining to June 1 2009 Approved and Proposed Projects Future Surface mining Potential Surface Mining Area In situ leases to Dec 30 2008 Notes (see below) 1 2   2+5 3+5 6 7 8 9 10 6 + 11 7 + 12 13

Biocarbon (above and below ground) in areas changed by surface mining activities Biocarbon (above and below ground) in areas changed by in Future in situ activities situ activities Potential loss of carbon sequestration from natural peatlands within surface mining areas disturbed as of June 1 2009, future surface mining, in situ exisitng projects and undeveloped leases, and the Oil Sands Administration Area

Notes: 1. We mapped, using a recent (June 1, 2009) Landsat 5 satellite image (Path 43/Row 20), the extent of surface mining facilities (open pit mines, tailings ponds, mine waste, overburden piles and associated plants, and other major infrastructure – except for those roads and pipelines which are associated with the bitumen industrial operations but are located outside the immediate surface mining areas). The medium-coarse resolution of Landsat imagery results in an underestimation of land use changes from existing surface mining activities. 2. We determined the geographic location and area of Approved projects (minus the area already changed as of June 1, 2009) and Proposed projects (as of December, 2008). We were able to include 5 Proposed (Jackpine Expansion, Joslyn North, Northern Lights, Pierre River and Voyageur South) and 7 Approved (Aurora North, Fort Hills, Horizon, Jackpine Mine Phase 1, Kearl Lake, Muskeg River Expansion and Steepbank Extension) surface mining projects. We were unable to map major roads and pipelines which are associated with these operations. Therefore the results are an underestimate of land use changes from highly-likely near-future surface mining activities. 3. All of the 488,968 ha area defined by the Government of Alberta as Surface Mineable Area was included as area for potential natural ecosystems changes, except for the Athabasca River and large lakes. 4. We used recent and historic land cover data produced by Ducks Unlimited (unpublished data; based on 1974 and 2002 Landsat satellite imagery – and, for areas already disturbed by surface mining prior to 1974, based on the 1949-51 1:60,000 air photo mosaic available from the Government of Canada) (Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2009). 5. We used the recent land cover data produced by Ducks Unlimited (unpublished data based on 1974 and 2002 Landsat satellite imagery) (Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2009) (Figure 5). 6. We used calculations (from Schneider and Dyer, 2006 ) of the extent of in situ activities (including central facility, exploration wells, production wells, access roads, and aboveground pipeline collection system) for the OPTI-Nexen Long Lake project (8.3% of the project area cleared for SAGD infrastructure), to extrapolate the extent of ecosystem changes to the other 85 in situ projects plus the other existing leases as of December 2008. 7. We used calculations (from Schneider and Dyer, 2006 ) of the extent of in situ activities, as described in #6 above to extrapolate the extent of these disturbances to the entire Oil Sands Administration as defined by the Government of Alberta, minus the Surface Mineable Area. ... Cont’d next page

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

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(Table 6 cont’d.)
Notes: 8. (1) For below ground carbon content we used the landscape footprint for each cover type converted to the amount of carbon per square metre contained below ground as defined by the Soil Landscapes of Canada polygons (Tarnocai and Lacelle, 1996) (see Figure 6); (2) For above ground carbon content: we used the amount of carbon contained above ground as defined by Kurtz and Apps (1999) for forests of the Boreal West Ecoclimatic Province (estimated to store 25.2 Mg carbon per ha) for the treed landcover class (Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2009). 9. We used the calculations from the future extent (i.e., after June 1, 2009) of approved and proposed projects and converted the estimates of land cover type to the amount of carbon contained below ground (defined by the Soil Landscapes of Canada polygons - Tarnocai and Lacelle, 1996) and above ground (defined by Kurtz and Apps, 1999, for forests of the Boreal West Ecoclimatic Province) for the treed landcover class (Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2009). 10. All of the 488,968 ha area defined by the Government of Alberta as Surface Mineable Area was included as potential surface mining disturbance, except for the Athabasca River and all large lakes. We converted the estimates of land cover type as described in #9 above. 11. We multiplied #6 by the amount of carbon contained below ground (defined by the Soil Landscapes of Canada polygons Tarnocai and Lacelle, 1996), and; by the amount of carbon contained above ground, defined by treed land cover classes using the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) dataset from Natural Resources Canada and assigning the carbon content derived by Kurtz and Apps (1999) for forests of the Boreal West Ecoclimatic Province. 12. We multiplied #7 by the amount of carbon contained below and above ground as described in #11 above. 13. We used the landcover dataset from Ducks Unlimited Canada (2009) to calculate the extent of peatlands within the surface mining areas disturbed as of June 1, 2009, and within future surface mining areas. We used the peatlands dataset from Vitt et al. (1998) (all bog and fen wetland classes) for in situ existing projects and undeveloped leases and for the entire Oil Sands Administration Area. We then used the net carbon sequestration value provided by Vitt et al. (2000) of 19.4 g C/ m2/year.

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

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Figure 4. Location of Alberta’s Oil Sands Administration Area, Surface Mineable Area, all approved and proposed surface mining projects (as of December 2008), and existing bitumen surface leases (as of December 2008) for both surface mining and in situ operations.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 17

Figure 5. Land cover mapping completed in the Oil Sands Administration Area (Ducks Unlimited).
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 18

Figure 6. Soil organic carbon polygons for northeastern Alberta.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 19

Results
Land use changes resulting from surface and in situ mining and the carbon content of the changed areas
Table 7 summarizes the results of the changed area calculations resulting from bitumen surface and in situ mining and the calculated carbon content in these changed areas. According to our analysis: • Bitumen surface mining activities between 1974 and 2009 have grown significantly (Figure 7). As of June 1, 2009, 68,574 ha of natural boreal ecosystems have been changed by bitumen surface mining activities, and this area contains 21.0 megatonnes of carbon (Figure 8); • An additional 94,850 ha are being or will soon be changed by existing approved and proposed surface mining projects, and this area contains 29.6 megatonnes carbon (Figure 8); • Another potential 325,544 ha are likely to be changed in the Surface Mineable Area and this area contains 90.1 megatonnes of carbon; • This equals a total of 488,968 ha changed and potentially changed by surface mining, and this area contains 140.7 megatonnes of carbon; • An additional 644,373 ha has been or potentially will be changed within in situ leases issued as of December 2008, and this area contains 284.0 megatonnes of carbon (Figure 9); • The total Oil Sands Administration Area is 14,042,214 ha. Assuming in situ development requires 8.3% of the land in this area (but outside of the Surface Mineable Area), 1,124,919 ha will potentially be directly changed by existing and future in situ operations, and this area contains 438.2 megatonnes of carbon; • All together, this is a total of 1,613,887 ha of natural ecosystems (20 times the size of the City of Calgary, 40 times the size of the City of Denver, 17 times the size of East/West Berlin) that are or will potentially be changed by bitumen surface mining and in situ operations; and • The areas changed by present and potential surface mining and in situ operations contain 578.9 megatonnes of carbon. Tables 8 and 9, respectively. Of the area changed by surface mining activities as of June 1, 2009, wetlands comprised 35,914 ha, or 52.4%, of the original pre-disturbance area. Upland forest comprised 31,739 ha, or 46.3%, of the original pre-disturbance area (Tables 8 and 9; Figure 10). Of the Surface Mineable Area, wetlands comprised 209,615 ha, or 42.8%, of the original pre-disturbance area. Upland forest comprised 205,591 ha, 42.0%, of the pre-disturbance area (Figure 11).

Peatlands: carbon sequestration loss from disturbance of natural peatlands
Peatlands in the Surface Mineable Area that will have been or may be changed/converted comprised: • 23,704 ha as of June 1, 2009 (this is 5.4% of all the peatlands that would be changed/converted under a full development scenario within the Oil Sands Administration Area); • 36,064 ha of the Approved and Proposed projects areas (minus the areas already changed) (this is 8.2% of all the peatlands that would be changed/converted under a full development scenario within the Oil Sands Administration Area); • 135,990 ha of the total Surface Mineable Area (this is 31.0% of all the peatlands that would be changed/ converted under a full development scenario within the Oil Sands Administration Area). (See Table 10 and Figure 12.) Peatlands in the in situ area that have been or may be changed/converted comprise: • 202,411 ha of existing in situ projects and undeveloped leases (this is 46.1% of all the peatlands that would be changed/converted under a full development scenario within the Oil Sands Administration Area); • 302,669 ha of the Oil Sands Administration Area minus those peatlands within the Surface Mineable Area (this is 69.0% of all the peatlands that would be changed/ converted under a full development scenario within the Oil Sands Administration Area). (See Table 10.) The annual CO2 sequestration potential lost from this area under full potential bitumen surface mining would be 96.6 kilotonnes CO2/year (Table 10). The annual CO2 sequestration potential lost from in situ areas under full potential development would be 215.2 kilotonnes CO2/year (Table 10).
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Natural ecosystems changed by bitumen surface mining
The generalized and detailed ecosystems, or land cover classes, of the Surface Mineable Area are summarized in
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

Table 7. Area changed (and potentially changed) by bitumen surface mining and in situ operations and carbon content in changed areas. (Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding).
Potential Area Converted (and to be converted (ha) Surface Mining As of June 2009 (1) Approved new projects (2) Proposed new projects (3) SUBTOTAL Surface Mineable Area (4) Surface Mineable Area minus approved (disturbed as of June 1, 2009 + new approved) and proposed projects In situ Mining Existing Projects and Undeveloped Leases (X8.3% converted) (5) Oil Sands Administration Area minus Surface Mineable Area (X8.3% converted) (6) 68,574 49,711 45,139 163,424 88,968 325,544 Below-ground Soil Organic Carbon (megatonnes) (7) 19.3 17.0 10.4 46.8 130.9 84.1 Above-ground Organic Carbon (megatonnes) 1.6 1.2 1.0 3.8 9.8 6.0 Total Above and Below Ground Organic Carbon (megatonnes) 21.0 18.2 11.4 50.6 140.7 90.1

644,373

268.7

15.2

284.0

1,124,919

412.7

25.5

438.2

Notes: 1. Mapped from June 1, 2009 Landsat 5 image (open pit mines, tailings ponds, mine waste, overburden piles and associated plants, and other major infrastructure – except for most roads and pipelines). 2. Approved projects include: Aurora North, Horizon, Jackpine Mine Phase 1, Muskeg River Expansion, Steepbank Extension, Kearl Lake and Fort Hills. Areas to be changed were digitized from ERCB application decisions. Projects identified from Government of Alberta. 2009 Alberta’s Oil Sands Projects: December 2008 and Alberta Oil Sands Industry Quarterly Update Summer 2009. Areas to be changed digitized from Alberta ERCB Decisions: 2006-112 (Steepbank Extension); 2004-005 (Horizon); 2007-013 (Kearl); 2004-009 (Jackpine); 2006-128 (Muskeg River); 97-13 (Aurora North); 2002-089 (Fort Hills). ERCB decisions are available at: www.ercb.ca 3. Proposed projects include: Northern Lights, Pierre River, Jackpine Expansion, Voyageur South and Joslyn North. Projects identified from Government of Alberta. 2009 Alberta’s Oil Sands Projects: December 2008 and Alberta Oil Sands Industry Quarterly Update Summer 2009. Areas to be changed were digitized from public documents available from interested companies: Synenco Energy Inc. 2006. Application for Approval of the Northern Lights Mining and Extraction Project. Volume 2 - Project Description. p.1-5; Shell Canada Limited. 2007. Application for Approval of the Jackpine Mine Expansion & Pierre River Mine Project. Volume 1, p.1-3 and Volume 2, p.1-3; Suncor Energy. 2007. Voyageur South Public Disclosure Document. p.2-4. Available at: www.suncor.com; Deer Creek Energy Limited. 2006. The Joslyn North Mine Project. Section B - Project Description. Figure B.1.1-1. 4. Government of Alberta (The expanded surface mineable boundary, as of June 2009 is based on the AltaLIS township grid.) 5. Projects identified from Government of Alberta. 2009 Alberta's Oil Sands Projects: December 2008. Areas to be converted from McElhaney Surveys Ltd. 2009. Oil Sands Leases Athabasca Region (copyright). 8.3% of the project lease areas was assumed to be converted. 6. Government of Alberta. 7. Below-ground carbon includes dead organic matter.

Table 8. Bitumen surface mining areas: original (before bituminous sands industrial activities) land cover - generalized classes.
Land Cover Type Peatlands (ha) Mineral wetlands (ha) Upland forest (ha) Water (ha) Other (human disturbances) (ha) Unclassified (ha) Total Area (ha) As of June 2009 Proposed new projects Surface Mineable Approved projects (ha) (ha) (ha) Area (ha) 23,704 18,659 17,405 135,990 12,210 8,418 7,634 73,625 31,739 22,231 17,617 205,591 453 109 172 9,211 68 0 68,574 295 0 49,711 61 2,250 45,139 1,815 62,741 488,973 Page 21

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

Table 9. Bitumen surface mining areas: original (before bituminous sands industrial activities) land cover - detailed classes.
Land Cover Type Open Water Aquatic Bed Mudflats Emergent Marsh Meadow Marsh Graminoid Fen Graminoid Poor Fen Shrubby Rich Fen Shrubby Poor Fen Rich Treed Fen Poor Treed Fen Shrubby Bog Treed Bog Thicket Swamp Hardwood (Birch) Swamp Mixedwood Swamp Tamarack Swamp Conifer Swamp Upland Conifer Upland Deciduous Upland Mixedwood Forest Upland Pine Upland Other Urban Water 1974 Total Area (ha) (1) Carbon Content (megatonnes) Area Converted Approved Surface as of June 1, Mining (as of 2009 (ha) December 2008) (ha) 350 57 98 52 0 1 141 104 47 0 103 292 2 151 1,032 1,097 7 2 6,987 6,054 13,972 9,62 8 72 1,381 1,174 877 1,020 761 445 62 616 107 593 9,645 5,638 6,503 6,99 20,867 12,300 ,2 2,972 0 0 45 0 68 20 5 295 68,574 49,711 21.0 18.2 Proposed Surface Mining (as of December 2008) (ha) 133 0 0 47 0 132 299 1,365 9 5,987 8,170 163 1,279 1,084 516 20 530 5,138 5,436 10,337 1,820 0 2 61 0 2,889 11.4 Surface Mineable Area (ha) 7,646 1,554 746 987 26 1,305 1,773 8,057 9 0,06 72,280 1,126 11,291 11,047 6,8 4,937 4,345 ,9 8,6 126,444 29,047 1 1,754 1,815 11 26,22 140.7

Notes: 1. Totals exclude Unclassified, Cloud and Cloud Shadow, and Burn Areas (unclassified) areas.

Table 10. Potential loss of annual sequestration potential from land use change of peatlands resulting from bitumen surface mining and from in situ operations.
Peatland Area Lost CO2 Sequestration Potentially Changed (ha) Potential (kilotonnes/yr) Bitumen surface mining As of June 2009 Approved new projects Proposed new projects Bitumen surface mining projects subtotal Surface Mineable Area Total Surface Mineable Area Surface Mineable Area minus approved (disturbed as of June 1, 2009 + new approved) and proposed projects In situ activities Existing Projects and Undeveloped Leases (x 8.3% changed) Oil Sands Administration Area minus Surface Mineable Area (x 8.3% changed) Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

23,704 18,659 17,405 59,767 135,990 76,222

16.9 13.3 12.4 42.5 96.7 54.2

202,411 02,669

143.9 215.2 Page 22

Figure 7. Growth of bitumen surface mining between 1974 and June 1, 2009.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 2

Figure 8. Surface mining footprint from existing disturbances as of June 1, 2009, and from Approved and Proposed projects. Note: Not all of this area will be disturbed at the same time, as there will be ongoing reclamation.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 2

Figure 9. In situ footprint assuming development of all leases approved as of December 2008 within the Oil Sands Administration Area. Note: Not all of this area will be disturbed at the same time, as there will be ongoing reclamation.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 25

Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009)

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Figure 10. Natural land cover of Suncor and Syncrude surface mining area.

Figure 11. Land cover of Surface Mineable Area.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 27

Figure 12. Peatlands within the Surface Mineable Area.
Bitumen and Biocarbon (Global Forest Watch Canada, 2009) Page 28

Carbon emissions into the atmosphere due to loss of biocarbon from bitumen industrial operations
Although not all of the stored biocarbon in natural ecosystems that are changed due to bitumen surface mining and in situ operations will be emitted to the atmosphere, if all of this carbon were released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the next decades, the total emissions would be 2,121.3 megatonnes CO2 (579 megatonnes of carbon x 3.66 CO2). If these biocarbon emissions occurred over the next 100 years, which may be a reasonable timeframe given projected bitumen industry expansion scenarios, this would amount to an average of presently unaccountedfor emissions of 21.2 megatonnes CO2 per year from bituminous sands industrial activities. Given the unlikelihood of 100% of the disturbed natural carbon stores being volatized and emitted into the atmosphere, especially because of reclamation that utilizes stockpiled carbon, it is also useful to examine a more likely scenario of emissions. Table 11 (page 31) includes emission values based on: a likely limit of total carbon volatization based references commonly cited in the literature; ranges of yearly emission flux scenarios based on minimum and maximum emissions cited in the literature; and the value calculated using IPCC Tier 1 assumptions (IPCC, 2006).

Using a similar analysis of total area disturbed as of June 1, 2009 and total synthetic crude oil production 1967-2008 (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, 2009), our estimate is 123.6 hectares disturbed for each million cubic metres of synthetic crude oil (plus mined bitumen) produced. However, it is important to note that since total synthetic crude oil production occurs for a long period after the surface disturbances occur, the area disturbed per unit of production will decline over time. The key differences between our analyses and the CBI/DUC (2008) and GHGenius (2008) analyses are: • We used updated land use change data (June 1, 2009 for the surface mining area and related facilities changed to that date, and December, 2008 for the in situ leases and existing project areas); • We used different source data on carbon content for the boreal ecosystems (Figure 6) (Tarnocai and Lacelle, 1996); • We included an analyses of in situ operations; • We included an analysis of existing and potential future bituminous sands industrial operations; • We categorized all of the Government of Alberta’s legislated Oil Sands Administration Area as potentially leased by in situ operations and 8.3% of the natural ecosystems of all lease areas to be changed (Figure 1) (Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, 1984). • We categorized all of the Government of Alberta Surface Mineable Area as potentially surface mined for bitumen.

Peatlands

Discussion
Comparison of results with CBI/DUC and GHGenius analyses
The proportion of peatlands, mineral wetlands and upland forests in our analysis are very similar to the CBI/DUC analysis (35 versus 36%; 18 versus 19% and 46 versus 44%, respectively). This is to be expected as we used the same basic data source but updated the disturbed area from 2006 to June 2009. The GHGenius analyzes area disturbed based on extrapolations fr