The five biggest oil sand producers in Canada are joining forces to achieve a newly announced net-zero goal. Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Suncor, Imperial and MEG Energy are the participants in the venture which is named “Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative“.
The five companies combined produce around 90% of Canada’s oil sands volume and have announced that they will have net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050.
Details of how the targets will be achieved aren’t too many right now, but perhaps the most important point in the announcement was the plan for building major carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) infrastrucuture. A trunkline stretching through the oil sand fields in Alberta would be connected directly to a hub near Cold Lake, with the capability of linking up with companies from different sectors and their production and supply chains.
Similar systems are being developed in Norway,the UK and the Netherlands, with partnerships between governments, industry quickly creating an environment for fast financing, construction and deployment of the technology.
Greenhouse gas emission reduction with other methods was also included in the announcement with CCUS and clean hydrogen being mentioned, alongside newer technologies like direct air capture and modular nuclear reactors.
The scale of the project is impressive and on part with the largest in the world. As is the net-zero goal, but critics have pointed out that it prolongs the use of fossil fuels and makes it more viable in the face of increased regulation and more ambitious climate goals.