Canadian Energy Weekly Round-Up: January 13

Here are the top news stories covering Canada’s energy landscape:

Energy Companies Lead Emissions Reductions

Recently, Cenovus Energy announced its intentions to reach a 30 percent reduction on per-barrel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the end of 2030. According to the Calgary Herald, in addition to this ambitious goal:

“Cenovus said …its long-term ambition is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The company will reclaim 1,500 decommissioned well sites and complete $40 million of caribou habitat restoration work by 2030. The company said it is adopting a climate and greenhouse gas emissions strategy with several options to help it reach targets. The strategy will also advance its methane emission reduction initiates that are already underway at its Deep Basin operations.”

Over the last decade, Cenovus has already reduced its GHG intensity by one-third, and it isn’t the only Canadian energy company setting an example to reduce emissions. MEG Energy has been optimistic that it can achieve net-zero GHG emissions at one of its oil sands facilities — Christina Lake. Likewise, Canadian Natural Resources announced earlier this year its intention “to reduce the amount of pollution from its oil sands operations to effectively zero in terms of carbon emissions.” Driving these changes for the companies is new technology and innovation. As Steve Laut, Canadian Natural Resources’ executive vice-chairman explained:

“We’re trying to get there just using technology and Canadian ingenuity. That makes a big difference.”

First Nation Leader Support Resource Development

In northeastern Alberta, the 14 indigenous communities surrounding the Teck Frontier oilsands mine have lent their support to the project, signing agreements with the company for the project which will eventually produce 260,000 bpd. Bill Loutitt, CEO of McMurray Métis — which has 600 members — explained his support of Teck Frontier:

“They continue to develop in an environmentally friendly way. That’s one thing that is in our agreement. There’s a lot of committee work, and when there are issues, we’re on the ground and we help them work through these to a solution. It’s very tough to develop oilsands without some environmental damage. By working with them, we feel we’re going to be able to help them reduce that amount of environmental impacts.”

Likewise, despite the recent report that a few hereditary First Nation chiefs had issued an “eviction notice” to Coastal GasLink contractors, all of the 20 elected First Nation councils signed agreements for the project, and some even weighed buying stake in the project.

For some indigenous leaders, the involvement from parties outside of Canada unfairly and untruthfully pits First Nations against resource development. For example, Chris Sankey — a former band elected bound councilor with the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation — explained why the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s attempts to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were inappropriate:

“They’re trying to dictate to the government how best to treat us, and that’s not right … Some people want to put us all under one umbrella. I grew up in poverty and I’m sick of it. That doesn’t mean you let these corporations do whatever they want. You negotiate with them in our own best interests.”

For more Canadian energy news and setting the record straight on the day’s top stories about the oil and natural gas industry, visit Canadian Energy Network.

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