Green­ing Up The Sands

Alberta Oil - - OBSERVER -

Back in 2012, when scarcely a dozen oil sands firms ac­count­ing for al­most 90 per­cent of all oil sands out­put formed Canada’s Oil Sands In­no­va­tion Al­liance (COSIA), they changed the in­dus­try for­ever. This is not hy­per­bole. By mov­ing from com­pe­ti­tion to col­lab­o­ra­tion to lighten their en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print, COSIA slashed min­ing op­er­a­tors’ wa­ter use by 30 per­cent in its first three years.

COSIA al­lo­cates re­search stakes to its mem­ber com­pa­nies in pro­por­tion to their pro­duc­tion vol­umes, and col­lects con­tri­bu­tions to its own projects us­ing the same ra­tios. Shar­ing prac­tices and tech­nol­ogy cuts out du­pli­ca­tion, slashes de­vel­op­ment costs, and each firm gets far­ther ahead faster than it ever would alone. One of COSIA’s aims to­day is to bring the oil sands down to car­bon emis­sions par­ity with other sources of oil around the globe—and then some. It’s an as­tound­ing tar­get con­sid­er­ing where oil sands pro­duc­ers be­gan. And while many of those pro­duc­ers still have a long way to go, it’s a far less daunt­ing task when you know where you’ve come from—and that you don’t have to do it alone.

COSIA CEO DAN WICK­LUM ex­plains why he be­lieves a car­bon-neu­tral bar­rel of oil isn’t just pos­si­ble—it’s inevitable.

Dan Wick­lum, CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands In­no­va­tion Al­liance (COSIA)

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