Canada’s major oil sands producers form ‘unprecedented’ 2050 net zero alliance

The Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative seeks to develop an actionable approach to address emissions from the oil sands industry and help Canada meet its climate goals

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The largest oil sands producers in Canada have announced what is said to be an “unprecedented” alliance to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial, MEG Energy and Suncor Energy – which operate around 90% of Canada’s oil sands production – have teamed up for the The Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative.

The alliance aims to work collectively with the federal and Alberta governments to achieve net zero emissions from oil sands operations by 2050 to help Canada meet its climate goals.

The initiative seeks to develop an actionable approach to address emissions from the oil sands industry, with its vision anchored by a major carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) trunkline connected to a carbon sequestration hub to enable multi-sector ‘tie-in’ projects for expanded emissions reductions.

It will evaluate, pilot and accelerate application of potential emerging emissions-reducing technologies including direct air capture, next generation recovery technologies and small modular nuclear reactors as well as deploy clean hydrogen, energy efficient technologies, fuel switching and electrification.

Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus President and CEO said: “This collaborative effort amongst oil sands peers shows our serious commitment to global climate leadership.

“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.”

Sonya Savage, Alberta’s Minister of Energy added: “The Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative is an industry driven, made-in-Alberta solution which will strengthen our position as global ESG leaders.

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