Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority

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The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) was an Alberta crown corporation to promote the development and use of new technology for oil sands and heavy crude oil production, and enhanced recovery of conventional crude oil. It was funded by the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund. Its head office and information centre were located in Edmonton, Alberta and a second office in Calgary, Alberta in Canada.[1]


AOSTRA was formed in 1974 for promotion of the development of new technologies for oil sands and heavy-oil production.[2][3] In 1979 its mandate was expanded also to the conventional crude oil technologies.[1] In 1984, AOSTRA initiated the Underground Test Facility as an in-situ SAGD bitumen recovery facility.[4]

In 1986, the Alberta Department of Energy took over AOSTRA's role in developing oil sands technology, and on 1 August 2000, AOSTRA was reorganized into the newly established Alberta Energy Research Institute, and rebranded again to the name of Alberta Innovates—Energy and Environment Solutions with an expanded role to include other energy-related research areas such as wind, solar, fuel cells, clean coal and biomass.[4][5]


AOSTRA operated primarily through projects, the costs of which were shared with industries. The resultant technology is available to any user at fair market value. AOSTRA also supported research at Canadian universities and research institutions by providing grants to inventors, funding the operation of a technical information system, promoting international co-operation in oil sands development, and providing scholarships and fellowships for educational assistance.[1] One of the main targets of AOSTRA finding of suitable technologies for that part of the Athabasca Oil Sands that could not be recovered using surface mining technologies.[4]


Most notable technologies developed with assistance of AOSTRA include of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), OSLO Cold Water Extraction (OCWE) and Alberta Taciuk Process (ATP).[2][6][7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b c Wiggins, E.J. "Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority. The Canadian Encyclopedia". Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "History of AOSTRA and accomplishments" (PDF). Alberta Government. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Oil Sands Recorded History" (PDF). Alberta Government. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c C.V. Deutsch; J.A. McLennan (2005). "Guide to SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) Reservoir Characterization Using Geostatistics" (PDF). Centre for Computational Geostatistics. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "Alberta's Oil Sands" (PDF). Alberta Government. September 2008. ISBN 978-0-7785-7348-7. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "OSLO Cold Water Extraction (OCWE)". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "AOSTRA-Taciuk Process (ATP)". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 27 December 2008. 
  9. ^ Brandt, Adam R. (2009-08-04). "Converting Green River oil shale to liquid fuels with the Alberta Taciuk Processor: energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions" (PDF). Energy & Fuels. American Chemical Society. 23 (12): 6253–6258. doi:10.1021/ef900678d. (subscription required). Retrieved 4 June 2012.