Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre and NAL Resources announced the ARCTIC Innovation Challenge, an effort to find technologies to abandon and reclaim oil and gas wells efficiently while also meeting or exceeding environmental regulations.

“We are seeking solutions to make the abandonment and reclamation process faster and less expensive for well owners and restore the terrain back to its original state sooner,” said John Kanik, Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment for NAL Resources. “New technologies have unlocked the potential in shale reservoirs, and we are looking to achieve similar breakthroughs in the abandonment and reclamation processes. We hope to find solutions that will provide further incentives to address this industry-wide issue.”

Approximately 75% of the oil and gas industry’s Asset Retirement Obligations (ARO) relates to well abandonment and reclamation. After many decades of energy development, well abandonment is on the rise in western Canada and around the world. The financial and environmental liabilities associated with abandonment and reclamation of wells are both expensive and time-consuming.

“We are delighted to partner with NAL Resources and Foresight on fast tracking innovative solutions to a challenge that has a significant potential impact on western Canadian governments, businesses, and taxpayers,” said Neil Huff, Managing Director of Foresight. “More responsible end-of-life practices will benefit the energy sector across Canada and globally. This Open Innovation approach invites solution providers with cleantech, nano, ICT and life science technologies that have been used in other sectors to join with innovators in energy to find and commercialize new breakthrough solutions.

“This ARCTIC Innovation Challenge is a tremendous opportunity for cutting-edge innovators to identify and prepare field trial-ready solutions to a real operational and environmental issue in the resource sector,” added Neil. “The ARCTIC program has a track record of helping industry operate more responsibly, efficiently and cost effectively, and we expect similar results with this challenge.”

The deadline for proposals is August 30, 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be selected by the end of September 2017, followed by a Challenge Sprint process in which a total of $610,000 in funding will be available for two to five candidates to advance their solutions. Following the Challenge Sprint, one solution will be selected for additional funding for field testing.