An article on the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) website discusses greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with oil sands production. The article provides some quick facts on GHGs, as well as a discussion on the challenges faced by producers of the Canadian oil sands due to the energy-intensive methods that are required to extract and process heavy crude.
Some interesting facts provided in the article include:
- Oil sands account for 8.5% of Canada’s GHG emissions and about 0.12% of global GHG emissions. Source: Environment Canada 2015.
- On a full cycle basis, about 30% of oil-related GHG emissions come from exploration and production and about 70% of oil-related emissions come from combustion – including automobile exhaust.
- Between 1990 and 2012, GHG emissions associated with every barrel of oil sands crude produced have been reduced by 30%. Source: Environment Canada 2015.
The largest challenge faced by producers is to reduce GHG emissions while the global energy demand continues to increase. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2035 the global demand for energy is expected to rise by 40%. In order to address this challenge, a number of production technologies to lower GHG emissions, as well as to catch and store excess CO2, are currently being developed and include the Gas-Turbine OTSG, Waste Heat Recovery, and The Algae Process.
To read the full article containing further reading on these technologies, as well as more information on GHG emissions, click here.