Oil sands producers in Canada like Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial, MEG Energy and Suncor Energy, announced this Wednesday the launching of an alliance between governments and companies, to achieve net zero emissions from oil sands production by 2050.
Firstly, as these companies total 90% of the Canadian oil sands production, an alliance such as this would create a solid platform for development and policy making; indeed, the alliance will be a collective effort between the companies and the federal and Alberta governments.
Secondly, the alliance is called Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero; it includes a goal to achieve net zero GHG emissions from oil sands operations by 2050; to help Canada meet its climate goals.
Thirdly, the pathway of the alliance also includes the development of a major Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) project. It will be a major trunkline connected to a carbon sequestration hub to enable multi-sector ‘tie-in’ projects for expanded emissions reductions.
Moreover, the Pathways initiative calls for substantial investment from both public and private parties; the aim is to advance the research and development of new and emerging technologies.
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Oil sands, a top energy activity in Canada
In addition, oil sands production is a top oil and gas activity in Canada; in fact, it is projected to contribute with CAN$3 trillion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product, over the next 30 years. Consequently, the alliance intends to preserve that activity, but to add a different approach.
In this regard, members of the alliance made the commitment to make the economic investments needed to ensure that member companies successfully make the transition to a net zero world; and hence, deliver long-term value to shareholders.
Among the activities that the initiative will launch, are: a core Alberta infrastructure corridor; linking oil sands facilities in the Fort McMurray and Cold Lake regions to a carbon sequestration hub near Cold Lake via a CO2 trunkline.
Furthermore, along that corridor, companies will deploy technologies like carbon capture; also, clean hydrogen, process improvements; as well as energy efficiency; also, fuel switching and electrification. Also, they will evaluate the relevance of new technologies such as direct air capture, next-generation recovery technologies and small modular nuclear reactors.
Finally, Alex Pourbaix, CEO at Cenovus Energy, member company of the alliance, said. “This collaborative effort amongst oil sands peers shows our serious commitment to global climate leadership. We are taking bold action to address our emissions challenge; and earn our spot as the supplier of choice to meet the world’s growing demand for energy.”