Speaking Monday in Toronto on his return to Canada from June 7 award ceremonies in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dr. Clement Bowman said there was a high degree of interest in Russia in environmental efforts related to continuing oil sands development in Canada. Prize co-winner Eduard Volkov expressed interest in arranging follow-up meetings with key Russian engineers and researchers.
“A critical factor considered by the award committee was the leadership provided by the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) in addressing the need for sustainable hydrogen and the recovery and storage of carbon dioxide,” Bowman said. The CAE (www.acad-eng-gen.ca) comprises many of the country’s most accomplished engineers, who have expressed their dedication to the application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises.
Bowman said building a positive global image of Canada’s oil sands development will be a continuing challenge. “We have to keep working on the environmental aspects of its development and clearly demonstrate to the world that we are committed to cleaning up any problems associated with it.”
On Saturday, Bowman received a medal from Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in recognition of “the development of highly efficient technologies and utilities for extracting oil from oil shale and oil sands, thus contributing to the energy saving problem of humanity.” He is co-winner of the $1.3 million prize and will provide permanent scholarships in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto and University of Alberta in the field of energy and the environment.
In an interview with the English-language news channel Russia Today, Bowman commented that with global oil prices currently exceeding $120 per barrel, recovery of oil from the oil sands is very economical at $30 per barrel.” The oil sands currently produce about 40% of Canada’s oil.
Bowman said Canada has a unique opportunity to lead the world in developing the technology to provide sustainable energy supplies for mankind. “We should not be afraid of promoting our image as an emerging sustainable environmentally-sound energy superpower.”
As Vice-President, Esso Petroleum Canada, Dr. Bowman led the Esso Research Centre which is part of the Exxon global energy network. As President of the Alberta Research Council, he established consortia with international oil companies to explore research approaches in oil sands that had breakthrough potential. As founding chairman of the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA), he managed a fund of several hundred million dollars. This fund was established to carry out first-of-kind demonstration projects to recover and upgrade bitumen from the deeply buried Canadian oil sands. His book Intangibles documents case studies of an evaluation methodology that he developed called ProGrid (www.progrid.ca) used by the CAE to establish a long-term Canadian energy research strategy. In 2007, Dr. Bowman was named the first recipient of the CAE Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding leadership of the academy’s Energy Pathways Task Force. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.