We utilize available scientific and traditional knowledge of the land when planning, building and operating MEG facilities. The factors we take into account include water bodies, rare plants, sensitive wildlife habitats and historically or ecologically significant lands.
We avoid areas of significance whenever practicable and take measures to mitigate impacts where necessary. MEG also builds on land previously used for access roads or exploration to minimize overall land disturbance when we can, and we share common corridors and roads with our industrial operators and local land users.
MEG Energy’s SAGD production facilities use only 10-15% of the land surface of a lease. This picture shows what wellheads look like above the surface. Drilled to a depth approximately 400 metres underground, the wells are then drilled horizontally for another 700 to 800 metres. Because MEG's oil extraction occurs deep below the surface, natural ecosystems, including wetlands, trees and lakes are protected.
MEG uses progressive reclamation techniques so that when exploration areas, well pads and roads are no longer productive or needed, they are returned to their previous form.
All topsoil, subsoil and peat materials are carefully salvaged and preserved for reclamation. We keep these materials safe to re-establish native plants once the land is ready to be reclaimed.
MEG’s efforts in oil sands reclamation extend beyond our lease boundaries. MEG is a key participant and supporter in a University of Alberta research project in Wetlands Reclamation policy development. We work with several industry and environmental groups to provide feedback on reclamation criteria.