Several Canadian oilsands operators commit to become net zero emitters by 2050

Click to play video: 'Environmental analyst calls Alberta oilsands producers’ net-zero strategy ‘wild cards’'
Environmental analyst calls Alberta oilsands producers’ net-zero strategy ‘wild cards’
WATCH: Canada’s largest oilsands producers have announced a joint strategy to attain net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 2050. But as Jenna Freeman reports, environmental analysts say the plan misses the mark. – Jun 9, 2021

A group of the largest producers in Canada’s oilsands have announced a joint strategy Wednesday to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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

A large part of the 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.

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.

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“This collaborative effort amongst oilsands peers shows our serious commitment to global climate leadership,” Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix said in a statement.

“We are doing more than just talking about the need to play a role — 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.”

The group compared their plan to the Longship project in Norway, a multi-billion dollar project that includes a cross-border carbon dioxide storage and transportation facility that will be open to multiple industries and is slated to open by 2024.

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said the move will help solidify Canada’s position as leaders in environmental, social, and corporate governance.

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“Every credible energy forecast indicates that oil will be a major contributor to the energy mix in the decades ahead and even beyond 2050. Alberta is uniquely positioned and ready to meet that demand,” Savage said in a statement.

“This initiative will also pave the way for continued technological advancements, ultimately leading to the production of net zero barrels of oil.”

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