Division Profile
The Heavy Oil / Oil Sands Division was originally established in November 2007. The purpose of the division was to provide a forum for CSPG members and guests who are either employed and/or interested in learning more about the disciplines of heavy oil and oil sands. This division is focused on providing attendees the opportunity to learn more about the geology, technology, various projects and development in the heavy oil / oil sands industry. In addition, this forum will provide the attendee the chance to network with their peers and meet new contacts in the industry.

Division Information

The division will host a breakfast session that will take place in the Halliburton Training Room which is located at Room 1830, 645 - 7th Avenue SW.  The forum will start at 8:00am and starts with a 10 minute introduction, followed by a 40 minute talk, and will conclude with 10 minutes to network. We are looking for sponsors for our continental breakfast. The sponsor will get promoted on our group email as well as at the event. During the introduction each sponsor will be able to talk for up to 5 minutes about their company, services and products. The sponsoring company will also be able to provide a business card draw.

The monthly forum will be the first Wednesday of each month. We expect to host additional events throughout the year to allow our attendees the opportunity to do more networking. Some of these events include a Christmas party and Stampede party. The events will be complimentary and will be sponsored by various service companies engaged in the heavy oil / oil sands industry.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, giving a presentation, sponsoring an events, or joining our mailing list, please contact of one volunteers or chairperson.

Chair: Randy Smith, rsmith@tarcore.com, (c) 403.968.9222

Upcoming Division Talk

Oil Sands Pioneers: How Scientists and Entrepreneurs Made the Unconventional More “Conventional” 

Speaker: Fran Hein | Alberta Energy Regulator 

March 1, 2017 | 8:00-9:00am 
Halliburton Training Room (1830),  645-7th ave SW Calgary T29 0Y9


The vast oil sands of Alberta have become one of the major unconventional energy resources in the World, and an integral part of the global energy mix. Origins of the oil-sands/heavy-oil industry are a Canadian technology and entrepreneurial success story- one, of which, is often ignored. 
By the late 1800s/early 1900s a number of unsuccessful drilling seasons finally resulted in 1910 with the establishment of the first Athabasca Oil and Asphalt Co. Founding of the Alberta Research Council and later hiring of Dr. Karl Clark resulted in the 1929 patenting of a hot-water separation process to extract bitumen from the oil sands. About 30 years ago, cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) projects were started at Primrose and Peace River, AB, followed by targeted Alberta government (AOSTRA) funding to test the feasibility of Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (or SAGD) for in-situ recovery of bitumen. The SAGD process, invented by Dr. Roger Butler, was field tested as the AOSTRA Underground Test Facility near Dover, AB. At this time, well delineation of the oil sands was sparse, and databases consisted (at most) of ~4 wells/township. 
Through the decades, government, industry, and academia have collaborated to bring the science and technology together for effective, efficient, safe, and environmentally-responsible development of the oil sands/heavy oil. This collaboration made what many considered (at best) an experimental design(s), to be the backbone of the Alberta present and future of the energy industry. 

Fran Hein received her B.Sc. from University of Illinois at Chicago, M.Sc. and Ph.D. at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, all in geology. Fran is with the Alberta Geological Survey (Alberta Energy Regulator) where she worked on oil sands for about 19 years. Fran was co-editor of the AAPG Studies in Geology 64 on Oil sands and heavy oil; and in 2014, received the Canadian Provincial and Territorial Geologists’ national award for her work on oil sands and other unconventionals. She has recently co-edited a volume of the Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology on bitumen and heavy oil. 

 Division Sponsor: