Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), an organization of oil sands producers focused on alleviating environmental issues in oil sands facilities, has announced a voluntary performance goal of reducing in-situ freshwater use by 50 per cent by 2022. The goal, revealed last November during COSIA’s first global webcast, involves cutting water usage from the current level of 0.4 barrels to 0.2 barrels of fresh water for each barrel of bitumen produced. Additional performance goals for tailings, land use and greenhouse gas emissions are expected soon.
Although 90% of water used in oil sands production is already being recycled, producers plan to achieve even better rates by improving water treatment processes, refining steam generation, reducing boiler blowdown waste and improving disposal techniques.
COSIA, whose 13 members account for 90% of Canada’s oil sands production, has to date shared 777 technologies that cost more than $950 million to develop.