Land Performance Goal

COSIA’s Land Performance Goal is focused on increasing land-use efficiency and reducing the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations.

Goal: Reduce the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations by 10% by 2022.


Land is disturbed to develop infrastructure required for in situ operations (i.e., facilities, well-pads, roads, pipelines, borrow pits).

Achieving the footprint reduction goal requires in situ operators to develop and share best practices and new learnings in land management.

Since 2009 the Oil Sands Vegetation Cooperative has harvested, registered and banked seed from 50 species of trees, shrubs and perennials, to support reclamation efforts for revegetating the land with species characteristic of the boreal forest.

The collaborative work of COSIA members Imperial, Teck and Cenovus with the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Government of Alberta, led to the conservation of 161,880 hectares of land south of Wood Buffalo National Park. The Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Park, established in 2019, protects over 82,000 ha of caribou habitat.

The Performance Goal uses an intensity-based metric that measures the amount of surface land disturbed per area of reservoir accessed.


Performance against the operating footprint intensity goal is reported on an annual basis with COSIA members aiming to achieve the goal by 2022.

To achieve this, in situ operators will implement and share best practices and new learnings in land management, which in turn lessens impacts to the surrounding landscape and biodiversity.

Over the years, the footprint intensity of oil sands production has trended downwards. However, in 2019, the footprint intensity had an upward change due to specific operational and business dynamics of the sector. This included oil production curtailment which impacted previously planned and approved project developments and the reservoir accessed.

Since 2012, COSIA members have reduced the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations by 7 per cent.