Husky stewards the land in its care, from a project’s planning stage through to the asset’s retirement. Potential impacts are identified so they can be avoided, minimized or mitigated, and the land is ultimately remediated and reclaimed.

Project Planning

Husky manages the location of its construction and development activities to maintain healthy, functioning ecosystems, and the wildlife and habitat they support. Sensitive wildlife areas are identified, using a desktop analysis which is confirmed through field surveys, so that features such as mineral licks, raptor nests and active dens can be avoided. Planning takes into account sensitive wildlife areas such as amphibian ranges, riparian complexes and known rare plant colonies.

These steps reduce the impact to wildlife movement, prevent them from being displaced to less suitable habitat and maintain vegetation cover which is important for safety and temperature regulation.

During Operations

Husky times its activities – including vegetation clearance and ground preparation – to reduce the risk of disturbing or disrupting an area during sensitive periods for wildlife, including migratory and breeding windows. If activities are conducted at these times, mitigation measures such as nest surveys, setback distances from active nests and changes to the construction schedule are implemented.

Workers observe and record the movements of local wildlife to better understand habitat use and assess any impact from operations so that mitigation measures can be put in place. In some areas, regional wildlife biodiversity monitoring programs observe trends, tracking the presence and movement of animals using wildlife cameras, winter tracking studies, point counts and nest surveys.

Surface water on a lease is managed, including the use of containment systems to prevent soil erosion and to help prevent a release from migrating off-site. Vegetation control inhibits the spread of weeds and minimizes fire hazards. Husky’s waste tracking system monitors and verifies the type and volume of waste generated, how it is handled and how it is disposed of, treated or recycled.

To accelerate the reclamation timetable, work is undertaken on lands no longer required for operations, even if the project is ongoing. Progressive reclamation allows for work to begin sooner to return land to its pre-disturbance condition and reduce maintenance costs.

End of Life and Asset Retirement

Husky prioritizes its inventory of inactive assets to determine which have future production potential and which should be retired.

This includes pipelines associated with inactive wells or lines with no flow, which are identified, assessed for future potential and prioritized for abandonment. In 2016, 708 pipelines were abandoned in Western Canada.

The process of retiring a well begins with properly abandoning both the downhole and surface components. Husky’s long-term, proactive abandonment program works towards the timely and effective retirement of inactive sites that have no future potential. Candidates for abandonment are ranked and grouped by geography so that resources are used more efficiently.

A decrease in well abandonments in 2016 was primarily due to the disposition of legacy assets in Western Canada.

Land on the site is reclaimed so it can support similar ecological functions to those that existed before any disturbance. This could include addressing potential contamination, re-contouring sites, replacing soil layers and re-establishing appropriate vegetation.

This process takes approximately three to five years to complete, from initial re-contouring to verification the site meets regulatory criteria. All reclaimed sites are submitted for regulatory approval and review by the land owner and/or occupant. Husky has achieved an average 99 percent approval rate on its submissions. Over the past five years Husky has certified 1,425 sites and associated facilities, such as access roads and log decks, reclaiming almost 5,000 acres of land.

Asset retirement obligations and their status are tracked in Husky’s Environmental Performance Reporting System. They are calculated and disclosed on a quarterly basis, complying with financial reporting regulations. This allows Husky to better estimate its obligations and account for appropriate financial resources related to abandonment, reclamation and remediation activities.

In 2016 the focus was on executing condensed, more efficient programs, while continuing to address high priority sites. With the sale of legacy assets in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Husky reduced its inventory of wells in 2016 by more than 10,000, and its pipeline licence inventory by more than 13,000, reducing its future asset retirement obligations.