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Suncor Oil Sands operation, near where officials were seen taking samples for the Athabasca River, following a pipeline carrying industrial waste water ruptured, Tuesday, March, 26, 2013 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Brett Gundlock/The Globe and Mail

GE and Suncor Energy Inc. have signed two deals‎ that could lead to spending $18-million on technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions and water use in the oil sands as criticism of industry operations intensifies.

The moves involve other companies that are members of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, ‎an environmental technology sharing initiative.

One agreement is for a pilot project for treating water at steam-driven oil sands developments that is aimed at cutting energy consumption and emissions while also reducing operating costs.

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It is expected to attract $5-‎million in new spending.

‎Six COSIA members have also signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue other joint projects with potential to spend $13-million.

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