Canadian oil and gas companies understand the incredible value in reducing emissions intensities for each barrel of oil they produce, as exemplified by some of the facts you’ll see below. So do global investors; a majority around the world are now looking towards putting their money into investment jurisdictions with strong performance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.
That’s great news, because reducing emissions intensities within Canada’s oil patch has become the “gold standard” so to speak. Anti-Canadian oil and gas activists like to target our local oil and gas companies as the “dirtiest” globally, which is not true whatsoever. These opponents love to focus on the ‘E’ in ‘ESG’ while turning a blind eye to the just-as-important metrics in the ‘S’ and ‘G’ categories of climate-conscious investor criteria, despite Canada ranking #1 out of the world’s top 15 oil reserve holders on all three.
The men and women who make up our oil and gas sector are committed to continual improvement. Look at the billions the industry spends on clean tech as one example. We are continuing to push our emissions intensities down and many producers are already near or below the global average. Cenovus, for example, is currently operating with an emissions intensity less than the average barrel of oil refined in the U.S. The truth is that our energy industry is in a constant state of innovation and progress. We need everyone to acknowledge our current situation of leadership and improvement so we can have a balanced conversation going forward.
Canada’s global leadership when it comes to transparency, regulation and human rights’ in the oil and gas sector is a “gold standard” which should be recognized world-wide, and our nation should be an investment jurisdiction and energy supplier of choice because of that.
There’s more work to do on our part. There always is. But let’s give credit where it’s due! Here’s several facts showing how Canadian oil and gas companies are global leaders in reducing emissions intensities per barrel.
11 Facts: Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector & Emissions Intensities
#1 – Alberta was the first province in Canada, first jurisdiction in North America, and one of the first globally to take climate action with mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for large industrial emitters across all sectors. Note: Canada’s oil sands are almost entirely located within Alberta – BMO Capital Markets, TD Securities
#2 – In 2018, Canada was the first country globally to commit to reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production vs. 2012 levels by up to 45% by 2025 – Natural Resources Canada
#3 – Due to technological and operational efficiency improvements, oil sands emissions per barrel have decreased 36% from 2000 to 2018 – Natural Resources Canada
#4 – With GHG emissions intensities down by roughly 24% since 2012, Canada’s oil sands now emit just 4% to 6% more than the global average from production to end use – BMO Capital Markets
#5 – Several oil sands projects (like Fort Hills) already are operating with below average carbon footprints – BMO Capital Markets
#6 – If emissions related to the consumption of refined product are included, the majority of Canadian heavy oil barrels are within 10% of the global average, even before applying the impacts of new technology within the sector – CIBC Equity Research
#7 – If minimal flaring standards (like those used in Canada) were imposed worldwide, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from producing the average barrel of oil would fall by 23% – Journal of Science
#8 – 80% of the world does not participate in any form of emissions management; Canada is a global leader in emissions management – Scotiabank – Circling the Globe to Better See the Unseen
#9 – At $50 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent by 2022, Canada would rank as the 7th highest carbon pricing jurisdiction in the world – Scotiabank – Circling the Globe to Better See the Unseen
#10 – By 2030, upstream oil sands emissions are projected to drop by up to 30% below 2009 levels as a result of continued capital investment into new clean tech and innovation – IHS Markit
#11 – LNG Canada, a new major liquefied natural gas export facility under construction on the west coast, is projected to operate with about 50% the GHG emissions intensity of the global LNG facility average, producing the most competitive carbon footprint gas in the world – Canada’s Green LNG Advantage
Canada Should be a Choice Supplier
Anti-Canadian oil and gas activists fail to recognize our nation’s incredible performance when it comes to reducing emissions intensities. They also fail to oppose oil imports from nations without carbon pricing, of whom many also have abysmal environmental protections, human rights’ standards and regulatory transparency. In their quest to block all Canadian pipelines they have also failed to keep one barrel of oil in the ground, while adversely affecting hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers who rely on this sector to put food on the table and provide for their families.
I support Canadian oil and gas because we are global leaders for environmental, social, and governance metrics. With increasing global demand for decades to come, Canada should be a global supplier of choice.
So, two questions remain: who would you choose to be a supplier of choice for supplying existing and increasing global oil demand in the years ahead? The world is a better place with more Canadian oil, wouldn’t you agree?