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Report on Business Canada’s oil sands producers race to cut carbon footprint

Cheryl Trudell is overseeing an effort to make the oil sands more competitive and less harmful to the environment.

Todd Korol

In a sprawling building in the industrial southeast of Calgary, a team of technicians is trying to win a race the Canadian oil patch can’t afford to lose.

The men and women in blue coats are huddled over a pressurized vessel that simulates the process of extracting oil from the thick mixture of rock-hard bitumen and sand that makes up the oil sands. Their mission is to test new ways to get the oil out, using solvents to liquefy the bitumen and make it easier to recover from underground reservoirs. The process uses less energy and water than current methods – and, as a result, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Working with a variety of solvents, the team at Imperial Oil Ltd.'s research centre feeds bitumen into a reservoir box and injects small doses of liquid to determine which compound – combined with steam or on its own – is most effective at freeing the bitumen from sand. What they discover will be further tested in a pilot project on oil sands deposits near Fort McMurray, Alta.

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The work, overseen by engineer Cheryl Trudell, is part of a broader, $1-billion-a-year, industrywide research effort to make the oil sands more competitive, with lower costs and less harmful to the environment. It involves an unprecedented level of co-operation among the major oil sands producers, rivals that now must work together to make progress in reducing carbon emissions – and quickly. They understand that climate change – and the fate of their industry in a world trying to limit its environmental effects – will be a key issue in the coming federal election and for years to come.

At stake are the growth prospects for an industry that has been a major driver of the Canadian economy. Oil sands production has doubled in the past decade to three million barrels a day. Almost all of the country’s estimated 167 billion barrels of crude reserves are in the oil sands. It’s expensive and takes a lot of water and energy to get the oil out – thus Canada’s reputation as a producer of oil with a high carbon footprint.

Rarely has the energy industry faced a more urgent need to solve that problem and change its image. Failure to clean up oil sands production could consign companies to moribund share prices and a slow death as the world seeks to wean itself off the most carbon-intensive energy sources.

Faced with concerns about a growing climate crisis, institutional investors are increasingly demanding that fossil-fuel companies demonstrate how they can prosper if the world succeeds in cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Oil sands producers operate a capital-intensive business that depends on those investors, including banks and pension funds, for financing.

Meanwhile, governments around the world are pushing policies aimed at dramatically reducing the demand for crude over the coming decades, including tougher fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks and incentives for electric vehicles to displace those fuelled by gasoline and diesel. So time is ticking. In their market value, energy producers include oil sands reserves that won’t be developed for another decade or two. For those reserves to remain valuable, companies such as Imperial and Suncor Energy Inc. will need to be among the low-cost, low-carbon crude producers in world markets.

A better environmental record might also be the best way for the oil industry to shield itself from politics. In Canada, the future of climate-change policy will depend on the outcome of the federal election this fall. The governing Liberals are determined to maintain a cap on overall oil sands emissions and a regulated price on emissions; the Conservatives have a more industry-friendly approach that includes lighter regulations and no emissions cap; and the Greens and New Democrats both propose more aggressive efforts to cut oil sands emissions.

Regardless of who wins, oil-patch executives say they will continue to drive down emissions per barrel, that they are well aware the global pressure to address climate change is only likely to increase. They have no choice if they’re going to win back an investment community that is increasingly skeptical about what they have to sell.

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Oil Sands: Production and

Greenhouse Gas Projections

Category

Historical

Projections

2005

2010

2016

2020

2030

4.1

Oil sands Production

3.4

Million barrels/day

2.5

1.6

1.1

106

Oil Sands GHGs

88

Million tonnes CO2e

72

53

35

Canada total GHGs

732

704

694

Million tonnes

CO2e

675

513*

Oil sands

21%

as % Canada total

13%

10.2%

7.6%

4.8%

Oil sands GHG/barrel

59.4

57.8

56.9

KG CO2e per barrel

55.3

54

*Canada’s target under Paris Accord

SHAWN McCARTHY AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE

GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: Environment and

Climate Change Canada, Canada’s

Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant

Emission Projections – 2018.

Oil Sands: Production and

Greenhouse Gas Projections

Category

Historical

Projections

2005

2010

2016

2020

2030

Oil sands Production

4.1

3.4

Million barrels/day

2.5

1.6

1.1

Oil Sands GHGs

106

88

Million tonnes CO2e

72

53

35

Canada total GHGs

732

Million tonnes CO2e

704

694

675

513*

Oil sands

21%

as % Canada total

13%

10.2%

7.6%

4.8%

Oil sands GHG/barrel

59.4

KG CO2e per barrel

57.8

56.9

55.3

54

*Canada’s target under Paris Accord

SHAWN McCARTHY AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: Environment and Climate Change Canada,

Canada’s Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant

Emission Projections – 2018.

Oil Sands: Production and Greenhouse Gas Projections

Category

Historical

Projections

2005

2010

2016

2020

2030

4.1

Oil sands Production

3.4

Million barrels/day

2.5

1.6

1.1

Oil Sands GHGs

106

88

Million tonnes CO2e

72

53

35

Canada total GHGs

732

Million tonnes CO2e

704

694

675

513*

Oil sands

21%

as % Canada total

13%

10.2%

7.6%

4.8%

Oil sands GHG/barrel

59.4

KG CO2e per barrel

57.8

56.9

55.3

54

*Canada’s target under Paris Accord

SHAWN McCARTHY AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

SOURCE: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canada’s

Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Emission Projections – 2018.


The producers are making some progress. The industry on average has cut emissions per barrel of crude produced – known as “carbon intensity” – by 22 per cent since 2012, according to a recent Bank of Montreal study. But overall emissions have grown dramatically in the past decade along with oil production.

Indeed, oil sands companies, led by Imperial, Suncor, Cenovus Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., say they should gain a competitive edge from carbon regulations and their own efforts to reduce emissions. They are among the few global oil companies that operate with an explicit carbon price, as well as legislation that will cap their emissions, Suncor chief executive Mark Little noted in a recent interview.

“If you believe that carbon is having an impact [on the environment], which we certainly do, then you start aligning your thinking and your investment and your organization to address that challenge,” Mr. Little said. “We are doing that.”

The companies are working together on environmental technologies in ways rarely seen in industry. Their seven-year effort through the Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance is starting to pay dividends, as they begin using technology that was developed jointly, at times with financial backing from provincial and federal governments. CNRL and Cenovus are also using carbon-capture technologies that either store CO2 underground or use it in other products or for other purposes. Both companies have purchased or built facilities that capture carbon from oil extraction and refining to prevent it from escaping into the atmosphere.

Mr. Little says the oil sands sector can drive its carbon intensity below the international average, and others in the Canadian industry agree. If so, exported Canadian oil could displace dirtier oil from other countries, which would put the industry on a sounder footing with investors.

But a recent study by Stanford University economists suggests there is still a long way to go. And cuts to carbon-per-barrel measures don’t impress environmentalists much.

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They look at the total amount of GHG emissions coming from the sector, and the oil sands industry remains the fastest-growing source in Canada. Even with the projected improvements, emissions are expected to climb through the next decade as Alberta pumps out even more crude.

Even by the industry’s preferred measure of emissions per barrel, the oil patch doesn’t stack up very well, critics say. A peer-reviewed study by Stanford researchers last year rated the Canadian oil industry the fourth-most carbon-intensive of 50 countries, trailing only Cameroon, Venezuela and Algeria and far worse than that of the United States. Based on 2015 data, Canada was almost 70 per cent above the global average, the researchers found, although they qualified that by saying poor data from some countries skewed those results.

"The talking points about cleanest oil are just not accurate for GHGs,” said Simon Dyer, executive director at the Pembina Institute in Calgary. “If we want to be leaders in GHG, we’re going to have to do much, much more.” He said companies tend to tout their newest projects and future prospects for best-in-class examples of GHG intensity, rather than measuring the environmental impact of the industry as a whole.

Oil companies will have to accelerate their efforts if they are to survive in a world that must cut fossil-fuel use to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change, said a recent report from a federally appointed expert panel on sustainable finance. The panel, headed by former Bank of Canada deputy governor Tiff Macklem, warns that high-carbon industries face a heightened risk of having their assets devalued – unless they can come up with game-changing technologies to cut pollution.

Mining operations at the Kearl Oil Sands project, belonging to Imperial Oil Ltd., near Fort McMurray on June 13, 2017.

Larry MacDougal

The oil sands sector is already dealing with climate challenges that have harmed it financially. Most obviously, there is the political opposition to new pipelines and the rising burden of government regulation on its activities. But it’s also suffering from new attitudes from big money.

Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group – which has an investment pool of US$200-billion – said in June that it would no longer underwrite or invest in oil sands companies or the pipelines and crude-by-rail facilities that support them unless they align their business plans with the effort to limit the increase in global temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius.

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In doing so, Zurich joined a growing list of investors cutting their exposure to fossil fuels, notably coal and oil sands. Several banks and institutional investors – including the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Britain’s HSBC Holdings PLC, Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund and California’s largest public-sector pension funds – have indicated they will shift their investment portfolios away from high-carbon companies.


The debate over the oil industry’s future has fuelled some of the fiercest political battles of Justin Trudeau’s government. The Liberals brought in a carbon levy and passed a law that requires most resource projects to be assessed on how they affect Canada’s ability to meet its commitments to reduce GHG emissions. But the government also bought the Trans Mountain pipeline with a view to completing its expansion, adding 590,000 barrels a day of export capacity.

The October federal election will send a clear signal about the direction of climate and energy policy. The four leading oil companies, which account for three-quarters of total oil sands production, insist they will continue to work on the GHG problem, regardless of who is in power in Ottawa.

Whatever the political stripe of the new government, it will face some hard decisions, early on, about climate and the pace of energy development.

In 2005, the oil sands accounted for less than 5 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions. Next year, it will be 13 per cent, Environment Canada projects. That’s because oil sands production has almost tripled in that time and is projected to hit 3.4 million b/d in 2020.

Assuming planned pipelines get built, producers could add another million b/d by 2030, says Kevin Birn, a Calgary-based analyst with IHS Markit Ltd., a global consultancy.

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So GHG emissions keep going up, despite the new technologies that help make each barrel cleaner. In 2010, the sector generated 53 million tonnes (MT) of emissions. That may double to 106 MT by 2030, Environment Canada says. (The former, NDP government in Alberta passed legislation capping oil sands emissions at 100 MT by 2030, but never enacted the regulations needed to enforce it.)

Imperial employs hydrocarbon-based solvents to 'wash' the bitumen after it has been dug out of the massive open-pit mine.

Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press

That presents a problem for Canada’s commitments under the 2015 Paris accord on climate change, where the government promised to reduce overall GHG emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. In fact, Canada is under pressure to increase the ambition of its targets. The United Nations will hold a climate summit in New York next month, where Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encourage will urge all countries to do more than they pledged in Paris, because the commitments fall far short of what is required to limit the increase in global temperatures.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna insists Canada can hit its targets – and even exceed them – while making room for growth in the oil sands as long as the 100 MT cap on emissions is honoured. But critics on the left and right challenge that assertion. At a Globe and Mail panel discussion in June, environmental activist Tzeporah Berman argued the projected growth in the oil sands should be restricted because it is inconsistent with Canada’s responsibilities in fighting climate change. Seated beside her, former industry executive Dennis McConnaghy agreed the goals are inconsistent but argued it is the country’s Paris targets that need to be revisited.

Whichever party forms the next government faces a key decision on whether to approve Teck Resources Ltd.'s proposed Frontier oil sands mine, which would add 260,000 b/d of production and more than four million tonnes a year of carbon emissions. A joint federal-Alberta review panel recommended last month that the project get the green light, concluding that its economic benefits outweigh the “significant adverse" environmental effects. The panel noted, though, that the mine would make it harder for Canada to achieve its climate change goals.

TOWARD A CLEANER OIL PATCH

Several producers in Canada’s oil patch are

seeking to capitalize on new technologies that

will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

(GHG) while enhancing production and perhaps

giving them a leg up on the competition.

Here is a look at three new processes

being implemented

Carbon capture

How it works

Carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide are

separated from other emissions, filtered,

compressed and trans- formed into

liquid which is then pumped to under-

ground storage.

Advantages

Cuts GHG emissions and the cost of

carbon taxes; for some projects, the

carbon dioxide is injected into aging

oil fields to increase production.

Solvent-assisted steam recovery

How it works

Uses solvents like propane and butane

to reduce the amount of steam

required to extract bitumen from

underground, “in situ” deposits.

Advantages

Reduces operating costs, energy

use and CO2 emissions

Parrifinic froth treatment

How it works

Uses solvents and less heat at oil

sands mines to settle the heaviest

compounds out of the bitumen so that

a lighter, easier to transport product is

produced.

Advantages

Reduces operating costs, energy

use and CO2 emissions

shawn mccarthy and john sopinski/the globe and mail

source:oil sands magazine; shell; cenovus

TOWARD A CLEANER OIL PATCH

Several producers in Canada’s oil patch are seeking

to capitalize on new technologies that will help reduce

greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) while enhancing

production and perhaps giving them a leg up on

the competition. Here is a look at three new processes

being implemented

Carbon capture

How it works

Carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide are

separated from other emissions, filtered,

compressed and trans- formed into liquid

which is then pumped to underground

storage.

Advantages

Cuts GHG emissions and the cost of

carbon taxes; for some projects, the

carbon dioxide is injected into aging

oil fields to increase production.

Solvent-assisted steam recovery

How it works

Uses solvents like propane and butane

to reduce the amount of steam required

to extract bitumen from underground,

“in situ” deposits.

Advantages

Reduces operating costs, energy

use and CO2 emissions

Parrifinic froth treatment

How it works

Uses solvents and less heat at oil sands

mines to settle the heaviest com-

pounds out of the bitumen so that a

lighter, easier to transport product is

produced.

Advantages

Reduces operating costs, energy

use and CO2 emissions

shawn mccarthy and john sopinski/the globe and mail

source:oil sands magazine; shell; cenovus

TOWARD A CLEANER OIL PATCH

Several producers in Canada’s oil patch are seeking to capitalize on new technologies that

will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) while enhancing production and perhaps

giving them a leg up on the competition. Here is a look at three new processes

being implemented

Carbon capture

How it works

Advantages

Carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide

are separated from other emissions,

filtered, compressed and trans-

formed into liquid which is then

pumped to underground storage.

Cuts GHG emissions and the

cost of carbon taxes; for some

projects, the carbon dioxide is

injected into aging oil fields to

increase production.

Solvent-assisted steam recovery

How it works

Advantages

Uses solvents like propane and

butane to reduce the amount of

steam required to extract bitumen

from underground, “in situ”

deposits.

Reduces operating costs,

energy use and CO2

emissions

Parrifinic froth treatment

How it works

Advantages

Uses solvents and less heat at oil

sands mines to settle the heaviest

compounds out of the bitumen so

that a lighter, easier to transport

product is produced.

Reduces operating costs,

energy use and CO2

emissions

shawn mccarthy and john sopinski/the globe and mail

source:oil sands magazine; shell; cenovus


The big four oil sands producers say they support the Paris agreement and have backed carbon pricing, as long as it is applied in a way that provides incentives for emission-reducing investments but doesn’t make Canada uncompetitive with other oil-producing countries. They are particularly concerned about competition from the booming shale-oil sector in the United States, where investment continues to pour in. In contrast, investment in the oil sands has declined precipitously, to a projected $12-billion this year from $34-billion in 2014.

In the short term, their environmental goals are relatively modest. Only Suncor has announced a medium-term target, aiming to cut its carbon intensity to 30 per cent below 2014 levels by 2030. CNRL says it is working on setting a 2030 target and has a long-term goal to become carbon neutral through the use of technologies to dramatically reduce emissions and capture the remaining CO2 for storage or use in new products.

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“While we don’t put a time frame on [achieving carbon neutrality], it is understood by everyone that that is our goal, and we have concrete measures in place, concrete steps to bring us to it,” said Joy Romero, CNRL’s vice-president for technology and innovation.

CNRL is the most heavily invested in carbon capture and storage technology (CCS). The company is the major partner in the Quest project, which was started and is still operated by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to capture CO2 emissions at a refinery in Scotford, Alta., near Edmonton. CNRL is also a majority owner of the Northwest Upgrader, which will capture CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery projects.

At the upgraders, the companies use amine solutions to grab carbon dioxide produced during the process of making the hydrogen that helps transform thick bitumen into synthetic crude oil, which is easier to ship and refine. The CO2 is then chilled and liquefied before being sent by pipeline to storage locations.

In the case of Quest, the CO2 will be sequestered deep underground, where it will be monitored for leakage. The CO2 captured at the Northwest Upgrader will be used to stimulate the recovery of oil from aging Alberta fields and will be recovered for reuse rather than vented into the atmosphere. (CO2 is injected into older, conventional wells to maintain reservoir pressure, which allows more oil to be produced.)

CNRL has also recently started capturing CO2 at its Horizon oil sands plant near Fort McMurray, using it to displace the carbon dioxide it had been purchasing for use in waste-water treatment. Again, the CO2 will be recaptured in a closed-loop system.

With recent technological advances, the carbon-capture process is now cheaper than trucking the industrial gas from the south, Ms. Romero said. Carbon dioxide mixed with water produces a calcium carbonate that acts like a washing agent to remove clays, which settle to the bottom of tailings ponds. The approach allows more water to be recycled, reducing the size of the tailings ponds and cutting the use of natural gas in the operations.

Suncor's base plant with upgraders in the oil sands in Fort McMurray on June 13, 2017. Suncor is trying paraffinic froth treatment at its newest mine, Fort Hills.

JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

Since 2012, the company has reduced emissions intensity at the 300,000-b/d Horizon mine by 37 per cent, while cutting operating costs to $20 a barrel from $34. It is touting these facts to institutional investors who make decisions partly on environmental, social and governance factors, known as ESG issues.

“Because our products are global commodities, they always have to be cost-competitive. So we’re obviously trying to make sure we are cost-competitive inside of all this and that we have the preferable ESG barrel,” Ms. Romero said. “So we hope those factors give us greater market share.”

Suncor is also positioning itself as a long-term player in a global oil market whose future is highly uncertain. The company says it expects to add 360,000 b/d of in situ oil sands production before 2023 at a break-even level of less than US$50 for West Texas Intermediate. Last year, it had 940,000 b/d of production capacity.

In an interview at his Calgary office, Mr. Little said Suncor will continue to invest in technologies that reduce costs, increase revenues and cut GHG emissions, Last year, the company spent more than $600-million on research and development.

"The perfect scenario is one where you find something that has lower capital intensity, lower cost structure, higher revenues and reduced environmental footprint. That’s utopia,” he said. If there is increased operational risk involved in deploying a new technology, it has to earn a higher rate of return than business-as-usual operations, he added.

Carbon-pricing policies create incentives for Suncor to make an investment in GHG-reducing technology when the economics might otherwise not support it, Mr. Little said. “A carbon price is a very effective mechanism. One of the reasons we supported a carbon price is it allows market forces to help drive innovation and technology and allow us to come up with creative solutions.”

Suncor is trying one such solution, paraffinic froth treatment, at its newest mine, Fort Hills. Imperial also employs the process at its Kearl oil sands mine.

It employs hydrocarbon-based solvents to "wash” the bitumen after it has been dug out of the massive open-pit mine. The solvents interact with bitumen to help remove water, solids and the heaviest hydrocarbon molecules, known as asphaltenes. Paraffinic froth treatment requires less energy than traditional washing processes and yields a lighter-grade crude, which is easier to transport by pipeline and refine. GHG emissions per barrel at Fort Hills or Kearl are equivalent to those of conventional oil production, the companies say.

As a result, the producers do not need to upgrade the bitumen and can sell it as “modified bitumen,” which commands higher prices than the product that has to be diluted in order to be shipped through pipelines but lower prices than the synthetic crude oil produced from upgraders.

Cheryl Trudell of Imperial Oil shows an experiment to separate oil by-products from water. Trudell runs a team of 40 scientists and technicians who work on innovation to reduce energy and water use in the Canadian oil sands at her lab in Calgary on June 24, 2019.

Todd Korol

At Imperial Oil, Dr. Trudell’s lab is developing and testing the next big innovation in oil sands extraction: the use of solvents such as propane and butane to reduce the amount of steam needed to extract crude from bitumen deposits that are too deep to be mined. With the traditional method of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), steam generated by natural-gas boilers is injected into horizontal lengths that have been drilled into a formation in order to heat the tar-like bitumen. Less steam means burning less natural gas and fewer GHG emissions. Imperial Oil’s planned Aspen project – which the company has delayed until pipeline capacity improves – will employ solvent-assisted technology that will lower emissions per barrel by 25 per cent, while also reducing operating costs.

Suncor is planning to use solvent technology for the in situ projects where the bitumen is too deep. It is also experimenting with a process it calls Solvent+, which includes the use of hydrocarbons such as propane and butane plus the application of heat generated by electromagnetic waves. That process could reduce GHG emissions by as much as 70 per cent because it would eliminate the need for steam and yield a lighter bitumen that would not need upgrading, said Gary Bunio, Suncor’s general manager for oil sands strategic technology. However, it will not be ready for commercial use for several years at least.


The companies pose their longer-term challenge as a competitive one – they want to be the “preferred barrel” in a world where growth in oil demand is uncertain. However, environmental advocates argue the question should not be “Which source of crude is best?” but rather, “How can we quickly replace crude oil with cleaner energy?” Some 75 per cent to 80 per cent of GHG emissions associated with a barrel of crude occur when it is burned in a vehicle or other end user.

“When you look at this from a global perspective, our position is that we need to stop expanding production,” said Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada. “We need action on both the demand and the supply side." Efforts to reduce consumption will be far more difficult if continued production growth drives down global oil prices, he noted. And Canada has been identified by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) as an important source of new supply as demand grows in the short term and production declines in aging oil fields around the world.

The Suncor oil sands operations north of Fort McMurray in 2005.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The future health of the Canadian oil sands depends, to a large degree, on how much oil the world will be consuming in 10 or 20 years. And projections of future demand range wildly, depending in part on the likelihood of success in the global effort to deal with climate change.

For example, Cenovus said in a report last month that it largely operates on the basis of a scenario laid out by the IEA that sees global crude demand growing until at least 2040. However, that scenario – which is frequently cited by Canadian oil executives to defend bullish growth plans – is consistent with three degrees of global warming, an outcome that scientists say would have devastating consequences for human well-being as well as vulnerable plant and animal species.

The IEA has also published a sustainable development scenario that it says is consistent with the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to well below two degrees, which would see oil demand peak near the end of the 2020s and decline by 30 per cent by 2040. Critics say the IEA is too bullish on future oil demand – a report last fall from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that two degrees of warming would be catastrophic and urged governments to limit warming to no more than 1.5 degrees, a goal that would require a rapid reduction in the use of fossil fuels, including oil, essentially phasing them out within 30 years.

In their sustainability reports, a number of the producers acknowledge that their operations would be constrained under a two-degree scenario, but none has yet provided a detailed analysis of the likely effects. Ottawa-based analyst Celine Bak argues that oil sands companies are vastly overstating their value in today’s market because much of their oil reserves – which are used to establish asset value – will never be produced in a carbon-constrained world.

In climate-risk report released last month, Suncor laid out its view of the impact of climate change on its business operations and the value of its assets over time. It included one scenario that features the technological innovation and policy action needed to meet the two-degree target. Under that future, “new oil sands growth projects are challenged and unlikely to proceed,” the company said, though it added that its existing assets would remain profitable to 2040.

In leading the backlash in Alberta against tougher climate policies and constrained production growth, Premier Jason Kenney has dismissed the growing concern among global investors as “flavour of the day.” However, evidence continues to mount that climate change is a present and growing crisis. Company executives – and governments in Canada – will face increasingly tough decisions on the wisdom of making long-term bets on oil.

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