This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 01, 2006

Oil Companies Increase Investment in Canadian Oil Sands

Oil companies are aiming to increase the production of heavy oil from Canadian oil sands in coming years. In early October, EnCana Corporation and ConocoPhillips announced a partnership to create an integrated heavy oil business with the goal of producing 400,000 barrels per day of heavy oil by 2015. EnCana owns the development rights to sufficient resources to produce an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of heavy oil, but currently produces only 50,000 barrels per day. In late October, a Chevron Corporation subsidiary announced its participation in a $10 billion project to expand heavy oil production at the Athabasca Oil Sand Project, a joint effort of oil companies that is currently producing about 155,000 barrels per day of heavy oil. The expansion project aims to increase production to more than 255,000 barrels per day of heavy oil by 2010. See the press releases from EnCana and Chevron, and for background, see the March 8th article from this newsletter.

According to Canada's Pembina Institute, under a business-as-usual scenario the Canadian oil sands industry will contribute 47 percent of the nation's growth in greenhouse gas emissions between 2003 and 2010. Pembina, an environmental policy research and education organization, claims that the industry could be carbon neutral for as little as $2.50 extra per barrel of oil. The Pembina report suggests improving energy efficiency, switching to less carbon-intensive fuels, capturing and storing carbon emissions, and buying carbon credits. See the Pembina Institute press release and their Web page featuring the report and a related fact sheet.