Group of large oilsands operators commit to net-zero

Experts say a joint strategy by Canada’s largest oilsands producers to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will help speed up innovation and drive further investment into the industry.

The companies involved include Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd, MEG Energy Corp., and Suncor Energy Inc.

A large part of their strategy includes building a carbon sequestration facility in Cold Lake, Alta. The group says the facility would be available for other industries to use as well, and could possibly connect to Edmonton for use by businesses there in the future.

Steven Bryant, a University of Calgary professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, said carbon sequestration is a proven technology that simply needs to be built up quickly – which a coalition is well-positioned to do.

“This does not require some exotic technology, what it requires is getting together and building stuff fast,” said Bryant.

“We know what to do, we just need to go out and do it.”

The companies also plan to pilot emerging carbon reduction technologies around oilsands operations, such as direct air capture, which uses a mechanical system to extract carbon dioxide out of the air.

The companies say the project will need significant investments and was made possible because of support programs from the federal and Alberta governments.

© 2021 The Canadian Press. Image Courtesy: Imperial Oil.

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