Water is used in open-pit mining for oil separation and at in situ operations to make steam. Both require a significant amount of water per barrel of oil produced. As a result, we need to ensure our water use is managed responsibly.
While we have much more work to do to improve our water use, we have had success in this area. Imperial Oil Resources’ Cold Lake operation has reduced its per-barrel water use from 3.5 barrels in 1985 to half a barrel today, by recycling more than 95 per cent of the water it uses. And some companies are using only non-drinkable water, such as salt water (brackish), in their operations.
Read more about our commitment to reducing water use
Access detailed reports including the Report of the Dialogues on the Oil Sands, and the 2011 ARC Financial five-year review and outlook.
Canada’s oil sands industry will provide a secure source of energy, reduce its impact on the environment and provide economic benefits to society while developing this globally significant resource.