A three-phased approach to reaching our net-zero goal
We’re working with the federal and Alberta governments to achieve our goal of net-zero emissions from oil sands operations by 2050, which will contribute to Canada’s emissions action plan and its Paris Agreement commitments.
Meeting this challenge also ensures Canada’s oil sands contributes to securely meeting world energy needs while contributing to Canada’s economy.
Phase one focuses on building a proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in northeastern Alberta. Through government collaboration and a planned $16.5-billion investment, the network could capture 10 to 12 million tonnes of CO₂ each year.
We’ve completed 12 feasibility studies at oil sands facilities. Engineering work and environmental field programs are underway. We’re also investing another $7.6 billion in new and existing technology, research, and ongoing energy-efficiency projects.
Phase two focuses on expanding the CCS network to include more than 20 oil sands facilities. We’ll use new and emerging technology to improve our processes and increase carbon capture. We’ll also invest in more research and development for alternative power sources. This includes potentially using hydrogen, more electrification and small modular reactors.
The final phase will explore and develop existing and emerging tech, including direct air capture. We’ll also implement CCS technology for any remaining sites and continue improving processes.
If other technologies like hydrogen or small modular reactors are successful, we’ll explore potential deployment in the oil sands.
Did you know?
A healthy, sustainable oil sands industry could contribute around $3 trillion to the Canadian economy over the next 30 years.
Our member companies are projected to:
Generate approximately 35,000 jobs in construction and cleaner technology
Protect 25,000 to 35,000 existing jobs
Add another 1,000 permanent jobs to support our new low-emissions facilities
Engineers and scientists are working to achieve our net-zero emissions goal. They’re studying and advancing more than 70 technology projects, including:
- Next-generation carbon capture.
- Natural gas decarbonization from in situ operations.
- Ways to better manage fugitive emissions.
- Replacing coke-fired boilers with significantly lower-emission cogeneration units.
- New water-treatment tech to lower emissions through improved water recycling.
- Using clean-burning hydrogen fuel in oil sands operations.
- Other bitumen-extraction methods, including enhanced use of solvents.
- Using electric mining trucks to move materials.
- Evaluating fuel cell technology to concentrate CO₂ streams for more efficient capture.
- Direct air capture of CO₂ for underground storage and conversion to liquid fuels.
- Assessing the viability of small modular nuclear reactors—a safe, versatile, scalable technology.
That’s just the beginning. Our teams are also studying the potential for low-emission deep geothermal energy in the oil sands. And they’re applying high-temperature, reverse-osmosis membrane technology that could reduce emissions by producing water that doesn’t need constant heating and cooling.
We’re accelerating tech that transforms CO₂ into usable products through the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC) and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).