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Emissions report demonstrates transparency from Canadian oil and natural gas sector: CAPP

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The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) released a new report titled, Canada's Natural Gas and Oil Emissions: Ongoing Reductions, Demonstrable Improvement. The report, which lays out the means to a lower-carbon future through innovation and new technology and illustrates the industry's proven track record of lowering emissions-intensity, is the first in a series of planned Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures.

"Canada's natural gas and oil industry has a track record of being one of the most transparent around the world. This report raises the bar even higher, positioning the industry as a leader in voluntarily reporting the collective emissions performance of our industry, and should be a challenge for other jurisdictions to do the same," said Ben Brunnen, CAPP vice president, oil sands, fiscal and economic policy. "The international comparable data shows Canada is a good performer when it comes to emissions intensity but also that we're continuously getting better. The key to our future will be the ability of our industry to quickly advance new technologies to continue reducing GHG intensity, keeping Canada a global supplier of choice."

Highlights of the report include:

  • From 2011 to 2019 combined natural gas, condensate and natural gas liquids production increased 32 per cent while emissions intensity in this sector decreased by 33 per cent.
  • As a result of Canada's flaring conservation practices, this country ranks among the lowest-emission natural gas producers globally.
  • While production from Oil Sands In Situ facilities grew by 66 per cent from 2013 to 2019, emissions intensity dropped by 8 per cent.
  • From 2013 to 2019 oil sands mining production increased 59 per cent as emissions intensity decreased by 14 per cent.
  • Canada's offshore industry produces some of the world's lowest emission oil.

The industry has a broad portfolio of innovative solutions to deliver greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions; technological advances that are not just aspirational, but are making a difference now and continue to be developed to improve performance in the future.

Some examples of these technologies are discussed in the report and include:

  • Methane Reduction - Industry is working to reduce methane emissions to meet Canada's goal of a 45 per cent reduction from 2012 levels by 2025. Among the world's top 10 petroleum exporters, Canada alone has a methane reduction target. Industry is working with the Alberta government on the Alberta Methane Field Challenge which is testing new methane detection technologies including sensors on drones and trucks.
  • Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage - Facilities are already showing how CO2 can be captured and stored or used in the production process, keeping millions of tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
  • Cogeneration - Upstream producers can use waste heat to generate electricity. In the oil sands, excess electricity not used for plant operations is sold to Alberta's power grid. Cogeneration supplies about 34 per cent of the province's electricity

Supplying affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to a growing global population is the goal of Canada's upstream energy industry. Advancing GHG emissions reduction is critical to realizing the vision for Canada to be a global supplier of choice with lower-carbon natural gas and oil.

"The energy sector is working with government, regulators, and stakeholders to explore the most efficient pathways to reducing emissions. The oil and gas industry is active across the country through direct exploration and production and a multi-billion dollar supply chain. Leveraging our leadership in ESG performance and innovation can strengthen the industry and the whole Canadian economy," said Brunnen. "Canada's energy sector has made tremendous progress reducing GHGs and that continues through significant investment in the clean tech sector and knowledge sharing across the industry. Canadian producers of natural gas and oil are important for providing a stable global energy supply and are committed to finding efficient and effective pathways to a lower-carbon future."

Canada's Natural Gas and Oil Emissions: Ongoing Reductions, Demonstrable Improvement, is the first report in a planned series of ESG disclosures from CAPP members which is expected to include Indigenous Engagement; Diversity and Inclusion; Air, Land and Water; Research and Innovation as well as Process and Personal Safety.

The entire report on emissions can be downloaded from the CAPP website.

Supporting information:
  • In 2019, exported oil, natural gas and petroleum products earned $112.6 billion - Canada's top export by value.
  • Canada produces about 1.5 per cent of the world's GHG emissions. Canada's natural gas and oil industry produces about 0.3 per cent of overall global GHG emissions.
  • In its 2020 Stated Policies Scenario, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects global oil demand will increase 6 per cent by 2040, reaching 104 million barrels per day while natural gas demand is expected to increase by 30 per cent to 5,221 billion cubic metres over the same period. By 2040 the IEA expects oil and natural gas will provide 53 per cent of global energy demand.
  • There is growing demand for Canadian heavy oil. The IEA projects heavy oil and bitumen demand will grow 21 per cent by 2040 and Canada will be needed to supply approximately 79 per cent of that total.
  • The IEA's World Energy Outlook 2020 recognizes Canada as a leader in climate action.

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