COSIA provides 2015 Performance Update highlighting strong and steady progress during the year

CALGARY, AB – October 21, 2015 – Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) held its third annual Performance Update on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. Dr. Dan Wicklum, COSIA Chief Executive, used the event to highlight the progress being made towards achieving COSIA’s aim of accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada's oil sands through collaborative action and innovation.

It was announced that members had initiated 37 projects in 2015 across COSIA’s four Environmental Priority Areas (EPA) of Land, Water, Tailings and Greenhouse Gases (GHG), worth an estimated $23 million.

“These projects contributed to an active project portfolio of 219 projects worth an estimated $490 million. This makes COSIA one of the most active collaborative innovation hubs in the world, with members currently sharing about 814 technologies costing just under $1.3 billion,” shared Wicklum.

John Brogly, Water EPA Director, detailed for the first time how member companies had performed against the in situ and mining Performance Goals that were publicly released at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 respectively.

View the Performance Goals: Water Update

“In 2014, COSIA members with mining operations reduced their net water use intensity from the Athabasca River and its tributaries by 30 per cent in 2014 compared with 2012 figures,” noted Brogly. This meant that members used 1.5 barrels of Athabasca River water to produce one barrel of bitumen in 2014 compared to 2.2 barrels of Athabasca River water in 2012.

Additionally, those with in situ operations reduced their fresh water use intensity by 36 per cent resulting in 0.23 barrels of fresh water being used to produce one barrel of bitumen compared to 0.36 barrels in 2012.

While Brogly indicated that this performance was encouraging he chose to emphasize a level of caution as well, “It is still very early days and COSIA members expect there may be significant variation in performance from year to year.”

The event also provided an opportunity for a number of guests to highlight the benefits associated with taking a more open and collaborative approach to innovation in the oil sands sector and further afield. Guests included Brian Ferguson (President and Chief Executive Officer, Cenovus), Deb Frodl (Global Executive Director, Ecomagination, GE), and Eileen Bartholomew (Senior Vice President, The XPRIZE Foundation).

“COSIA continues to look at ways to expand, what I like to call, a collaborative global ecosystem made up of the brightest people and progressive organizations developing solutions to the environmental challenges for the oil sands. Many of which are the same challenges that face other sectors around the world,” Wicklum said. “That is why COSIA was created, to provide an opportunity to do things differently and accelerate solution development.”

This approach has had a strong influence on much of COSIA’s work in 2015, including working with GE on their GHG Ecomagination Innovation Challenge designed to advance efficiency and environmental performance in in situ operations primarily through alternative uses for waste heat and improving the efficiency of steam generation.

In addition to this, on September 29, eight COSIA members, led by ConocoPhillips, partnered with NRG Energy and The XPRIZE Foundation to launch the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE – aimed at challenging the world to reimagine what can be done with CO2emissions by incentivizing the development of technologies that convert carbon from those emissions into valuable products.

The event was also used by COSIA to release their most recent Challenge statement in the GHG EPA aimed at finding solutions to capture CO2 from steam generator flue gas streams.

View the Webcast

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About COSIA:

COSIA is an alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands through collaborative action and innovation. COSIA brings together leading thinkers from industry, government, academia and the wider public to improve measurement, accountability and environmental performance in the oil sands in four priority areas.

COSIA members represent almost 90 per cent of the oil sands production in Canada and include: BP Canada, Shell Canada Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Statoil Canada Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp., Syncrude Canada Ltd., Devon Canada Corporation, Teck Resources Limited, Imperial Oil, Total E&P Canada Ltd., and Nexen.

For more information

A list of projects detailing work that started in 2015, as well as other projects that are ongoing or were completed this year, can be accessed at via: place link here

If you would like to obtain further information on any of the projects please contact Eileen Kahler at or at 403-818-2889. Visit to learn more about COSIA Challenges, Performance Goals, and the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE.

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