Canada’s oil and gas industry is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology.
The Issue: Challenge and Opportunity
Climate change is caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, like carbon dioxide (CO2), entering the earth's atmosphere. GHGs come from producing and using fossil fuels such as oil and gas. The challenge we all face is how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while demand for energy – and the amount of energy the world is consuming – is growing.
Regional Breakdown of
Global GHG Emissions
Canadians expect the oil and gas industry to do its part to help fight climate change. As an industry, we account for 23 per cent of Canada’s emissions and 0.5 per cent of total global emissions. It’s a big number and industry understands it must improve its performance.
Climate change is a global issue that requires global solutions. Everyone needs to play a role. Canada, which emits only two per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases, needs to take action to reduce its emissions. And the world has to find ways to both produce and consume oil and gas more efficiently because fossil fuels make up a large part of worldwide emissions.
Did you know?
Wells-to-Wheels analysis assesses total greenhouse gas emissions from crude oils. The full product life-cycle is considered from production (wells) to the use of the fuel in a vehicle (wheels). About 20 per cent of oil-related GHG emissions come from exploration and production, while about 80 per cent come from vehicle use. Read more about GHGs
GHG Emissions – Canada and U.S.
What we're Doing: Focusing on Technological Solutions
The world needs more energy, and oil and gas will continue to play a large part in meeting those needs now and in the future. We firmly believe that new, innovative technologies will help produce more oil and gas to meet growing demand, while also reducing GHG emissions. There are a variety of technologies that we’re researching and working with now to make this happen.
Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAI™)
THAI™ is an oil sands technology that uses combustion instead of steam to liquefy the sticky bitumen deep underground, allowing it to be pumped to the surface. This technology helps the industry reduce our GHG emissions because it requires less energy than heating water to make steam.
Find out more about how THAI™ works
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)
We believe CCS is a promising option to significantly reduce our GHG emissions in the near future. Companies are beginning to capture CO2 and store (sequester) it underground or transport it to conventional oil and gas wells to help recover more resources from those wells. Several companies are also considering pipelines to connect sources of CO2 with older oil reservoirs and other sequestration sites. There are several CCS projects currently operating in Canada.
Find out more about these projects
We are working hard to be more efficient in our operations by reducing the GHGs we emit per barrel of oil and unit of natural gas we produce. We’re doing this in a variety of ways, like minimizing small leaks in our equipment – also known as fugitive emissions. In cases like these, small steps can have big results.
Find out more about how we work to reduce our fugitive emissions
The oil sands industry is researching how geothermal energy from deep in the earth could provide a low-emission alternative to provide heat and steam in the oil sands production process.
On a life cycle basis, oil sands have similar GHG emissions to other sources of oil.
The Canadian oil and gas industry fully recognizes that it must continue to do its part in addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Read about CAPP on Climate
Wells to Wheels
"The most comprehensive measurement of GHG emissions is on a life-cycle, well-to-wheels basis."
- Cambridge Energy Research Associates
The Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) released a pair of reports by Jacobs Consultancy Canada Inc and TIAX LLC on the life-cycle analysis of North American and imported crude oils.
Rising Demand, New Technologies and Broader Energy Mix Cornerstones of Global Energy Growth: CERA Report
Responsible Canadian Energy™ is an association-wide program that supports continuous improvement in environmental, health, safety, and social performance.
The oil and gas industry is regulated by both the provincial and federal government and under this regulation must reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Find out more through the links below.
Alberta surges ahead with climate change action plan.