Ambition to reduce oil sands emissions

Leismer Demonstration Project, Canada. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

Leismer Demonstration Project, Canada. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

Statoil has launched a new technology plan to help reduce carbon emissions from oil sands. The stated ambition is to reduce emissions by more than 40% by 2025.

The ambitious application of technology is vital for this type of oil production, from both an economic and an environmental perspective,” explains country manager for Statoil Canada, Lars Christian Bacher.

Statoil is planning to develop its oil sands activities step-by-step. The initial five-year phase will be the start-up and operation of a demonstration pilot facility.

“By first of all building a demonstration facility, we have chosen to move forward in a gradual way. Our focus will be on training and building knowledge, rather than on rapid project development and production. This demonstration facility will provide valuable operational experience and a basis for shaping our continued technology development efforts. We are not yet producing from our Leismer Demonstration Project, but we know that we must constantly focus on energy efficiency to reduce costs and emissions, says Bacher.

A 5-year technology plan will provide the basis for initial reductions of up to 25%, with further reductions of more than 40 % by 2025.

“Statoil has proven many times before that we are capable of taking on huge challenges and succeeding. But we are a recent entrant into the oil sands and must focus on learning, concept development and on making a contribution to the industry to show that we are serious about our commitment to the sustainable development of this resource,” adds Bacher.

This means that Statoil, in addition to regulatory reporting, will publicize carbon emission data from its operations.

“By announcing these ambitions and pledging a commitment to public reporting, we are demonstrating our responsibility to produce with the lowest level of carbon emissions possible.”

The Heavy Oil Research Centre that has been established in Calgary works closely with colleagues in Norway to improve energy efficiency and develop technology that will reduce the environmental impact and improve project economy.

“We now have a strong foundation for developing this resource and we are working with world-class research institutions both internally and externally to improve performance and test out new technologies. The challenges of the oil sands will be solved through technological advances and efforts by all areas of Statoil. We believe that the oil sands constitute an important and attractive long-term business opportunity for the company.”

The first phase of the oil sands project, the Leismer Demonstration Project, is on schedule and will start up later this year. After production ramp-up the project will attain an initial production of 10,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), with the possibility of an increase to 20,000 bpd, pending regulatory approval. The next phase, called Corner, is planned to be a 40,000 – 60,000 barrel-per-day facility.

Source: Statoil

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