Oilsands technology is continuing to see major innovations.
That’s according to Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance – an organization focused on improving the environmental performance of Canada’s energy sector.
Since launching in 2012, COSIA, which is made up of roughly 10 oil producers, have shared 936 new distinct technologies and innovations, costing over $1.3 billion, while 270 other projects are still being worked on.
Each new piece of tech focuses on four different priority areas: water, landscape, tailings ponds, and greenhouse gases.
“So, what these companies do, they come together and they define the highest innovation priorities that they have so new technologies that would use less water, new technologies that would cause them to emit fewer greenhouse gases or disturb less land,” said Dan Wicklum Chief Executive of COSIA.
Many of the innovations help deal with multiple priorities including certain water projects leading to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Wicklum notes they’ve also traveled to space using the GHGSatellite.
“It’s about the size of a breadbox or a toaster. It measures greenhouse gas emissions in new, more frequent and in different ways so that we can make that we’re having the positive impact that we think we are.”
The satellite, named Claire, circles the oilsands once every two weeks.
Meanwhile, Wicklum adds they are getting closer to completing their Carbon XPRIZE Competition.
“Carbon Dioxide is a liability, it’s a greenhouse gas contributing to climate change, what we’re doing is offering with partners $20 million to the team that can best take carbon and change it into a valuable product.”
Right now, 23 teams from across the world have advanced to the second round, seven coming from Canada.
This competition is also being backed by many big-name companies such as Shell, Suncor, Cenovus Energy, and ConocoPhillips.