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Oil Sands Technology

At ConocoPhillips Canada, we believe developing and applying innovative technology for our oil sands projects is a key component of our future success and social licence to operate. While improving our operations' efficiency and economics, our investments in technology and innovation also reduce our impacts on land, water and air resources, including GHG emissions. Efficient steam generation, for example, reduces both our water use and the greenhouse gas emissions from our steam generators.

We work with industry's cutting-edge technology vendors and our global ConocoPhillips technology group to develop new technology and assess existing and emerging technology for use in our operational design. As a founding member of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), ConocoPhillips Canada shares technologies and best practices that have an environmental benefit with 12 other member companies and associate members, including universities and leading innovators, to multiply our technology development efforts across industry.

Integrating innovative solutions into our oil sands projects requires a complete understanding of both individual technologies and the wider systems to which they belong. Extensive analyses of prospective technologies' technical and economic feasibility guides our selection process, and piloting technologies ensures their effectiveness in the field while providing essential data to ensure their compliance with regulations.

When evaluating new technologies, we also must evaluate the tradeoffs between water, air and land impacts of technology alternatives for our operations. We evaluate these tradeoffs on a life cycle basis, looking at impacts both within and beyond our operations. For example, desalination technologies that could allow us to reduce the volume of non-saline water we use may also lead to a higher land footprint, as we would be using saline aquifers that are located farther from our operations.

Our Oil Sands Technology infographic below illustrates the various ways our most progressive technologies can simultaneously reduce our impacts on water, air and land.

Last updated on June 12, 2015