The Hydrocarbon Upgrading Task Force (HUTF)

The vision is to achieve a competitive hydrocarbon upgrading industry through refining and petrochemical plants that expand the markets for Alberta’s oilsands resource and produces higher valued products in Alberta.
The HUTF identifies key indicators of success as the following:

  • World-scale integrated industrial complexes that upgrade oilsands to produce competitively priced, higher value products such as synthetic crude oil, base and specialty chemicals and other refined products.
  • Oil sands production reaches three million barrels per day with a significant portion upgraded in Alberta.
    Flexible manufacturing and transportation infrastructure provides broad access to various markets.
  • Albertans benefit from increased resource royalties, a higher tax base, a well-paid and skilled workforce and an increased proportion of higher value product exports.
  • The task force consists of 119 members from 85 organizations representing government and industry (including oilsands producers, refiners, and petrochemical stakeholders).

    Connections to Other Provincial Initiatives
The HUFT is consistant with both the Provincial Energy Strategy (August 2009) and Responsible Actions: A Plan Alberta’s Oil sands (February 2009) in its outcomes and deliverables. 

Key shared deliverables:

  • Extend Alberta’s role in the oil sands value-chain through the development of value-added upgrading, refining, and petrochemical facilities.
  • Increase Alberta’s oil sands international market access
  • Ensure oil sands development enhances Alberta’s knowledge-based and higher value export economies

    Related Projects 

Industry and government are jointly pursuing studies on the technical and market opportunities for new refining and petrochemical feedstock potential. In 2002, an industry/government study explored opportunities for alternative feedstocks, including oil sands upgrading and co-products of refineries and existing ethane crackers. To date, these studies have shown that returns from increased upgrading and refining are potentially attractive and that export markets may exist for refined product from Alberta.

In 2004, an industry/government Task Force (the HUTF) was established to explore synergies of other competitive opportunities with the refining and petrochemical industries. Two studies have been initiated:

  1. Integration - assess the product integration opportunities for feedstocks, petrochemicals, fertilizers, syngas and electricity with bitumen upgrading and refining in Alberta.
  2. Best Practices - review successful integrated hydrocarbon clusters in various jurisdictions around the world to identify competitive gaps for Alberta.

Value-added upgrading of energy resources in Alberta is a high priority. The HUTF is supporting this priority by developing the business case for adding value to bitumen for new refining capacity and as a source of petrochemical feedstock.

HUTF presentations and studies:

Other Links:
Alberta-Canada  Chemical & Petrochemicals industry information (managed by the Ministries of; Employment, Immigration and Industry, International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations and Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture)