Terracon Geotechnique Ltd.
A successful professional and technical services record safely delivered
Originating in 1978, this small company has grown in concert with the oil sands industry by adapting and providing flexible on-the-ground engineering and related services. The monitoring field services, design services, soil mechanics and concrete testing laboratory services are now supported by a Fort McMurray-based staff exceeding 150 qualified persons. Terracon Geotechnique's staff is a mixture of engineers, geologists, technologists and environmental scientists whooly integrated into many oil sands operations.
The oil sands industry is a strongly progressive business sector. It has seen steady technical improvements and these improvements will continue while the oil sands remain a vital energy source to North America. Terracon Geotechnique has been an active collaborator from its early participation with innovative exploration and reclamation methods to support roles in current initiatives with resource evaluations, resource recovery handling through to reclamation, decomissioning and certification.
Terracon looks forward to contributing safely to efficient oil sands mining operations. This generally requires the maintenance of a skilled technical staff, trained with equipment and monitoring protocols. Terracon Geotechnique's offerings include its unique Quality Management System, safety benchmarks, including Certificate of Recognition (COR), flexible and continuously improving organizational structure, and a new Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to support its unique soil mechanics and concrete testing laboratories in Fort McMurray.
New bitumen production technologies, surface, in-situ or the new experimental combination operations all require proven support technologies to make them operate successfully. A case in point is the need for rigorous basic soil and concrete testing services following recognized protocols in the laboratory and field. Typically, these protocols require radiation source devices, specialized downhole tooling, downhole cameras, stress/strain instrumentation along with accurate GPS (Global Positioning System) and radar/LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey systems. These devices and protocols are important to the verification of the new performance regulations for tailings new structures.
Terracon Geotechnique prides itself on being an Alberta company that has also supported mining activities in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan, with global consulting assignments also completed in the United States, Suriname, Iran, Zaire, Chile, Indonesia and Jordan. The company's exposure to heavy oil deposits was expanded by its lead roles in examining the heavy oil deposits in the United States, Zaire, Indonesia and Jordan.
In September 2010, Terracon Geotechnique demonstrates its commitment to the oil sands industry when it plans to take possession of its new office and laboratory facility in downtown Fort McMurray. The facilities are designed to meet the unique engineering and earth sciences needs of Terracon Geotechnique. Ownership of this new 14,000 square foot facility will allow the company to continue to expand its quality technical services to the oil sands industry.
With a continuous record of receiving many industry and government safety awards, and being selected as one of the 50 Best Small and Medium Employers in Canada by the Queen's School of Business in 2010, Terracon Geotechnique looks forward to continuing its solid partnership with its many clients, the Alberta Chamber of Resources and other NGOs, and the Alberta resource industry in general.
Terracon Geotechnique has also worked closely with the Fort McKay Aboriginal community through Terracon McKay Ltd., which provides geotechnical, environmental and geological shallow drilling services with three rigs and a variety of downhole tooling system operations and platforms. Training of Aboriginal workers and provision of drilling trade opportunities contribute to the oil sands industry.
What does the future of the oil sands industry hold? Terracon Geotechnique's staff joined the oil sands industry in the early 1970s with a mining operator. Over the years, the industry has seen transformational change from the UTF (Underground Test Facility by AOSTRA) initiative to CT (Combined for Consolidated Tailings) technology and new in-situ or combined extractive technologies. The company has seen many new initiatives to reduce the environmental impact, particularly with respect to tailings, disposal and returning the land to a more productive, better drained footprint from the existing chaotic glacial geomorphology under which the oil sands are located. Improvements in mining extraction, in-situ and upgrading, including sequestration, are on the way to support a better future.