Long before COSIA was formed I was steadfast in my belief that Canada should be proud of the oil sands and that the world should know about the unparalleled innovative science, engineering and passion that goes into producing each barrel of oil extracted from Canada’s oil sands. With that in mind, it is my pleasure to step into the position of Acting Chief Executive of COSIA, following the departure of Dan Wicklum, who stepped down after leading the organization for seven years. Dan contributed to the success of COSIA, assisting in creating the foundation of the alliance to accelerate the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands through collaborative action and innovation. We thank him for his dedication and time with the organization.
As Water Director since COSIA’s inception, in addition to serving as Tailings Director from July 2016 – July 2018, I am very familiar with the organization. With the full support of our member companies, you can be confident that our foot is on the accelerator and we are moving full steam ahead (no pun intended)!
Since COSIA’s inception, industry has made measurable progress to: reduce land impact; reduce greenhouse gas and water use intensity; and advance tailings science and technology. Each has necessitated a collaborative, sector-wide and cross-sector approach to developing innovative solutions. COSIA has supported research, searched out and nurtured technologies, and facilitated collaboration amongst our members as we unabashedly strive to accelerate environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands.
Looking back on 2018, I’m pleased to say that COSIA was successful in supporting the launch of two state-of-the-art infrastructure testing facilities, in collaboration with our member companies and the broader innovation ecosystem; the SAIT Once Through Steam Generator Applied Research Lab and Alberta’s Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (home to the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalists). These facilities are the physical manifestation of oil sands innovation, enabling great innovative minds to test and improve their technology solutions for some of our industry’s and society’s most daunting challenges.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2019, COSIA, like all organizations, will continue to evolve in response to the ebbs and flows of industry and the challenges and opportunities presented by the market. That evolution will be driven by a new five year strategic plan focused on accelerating innovations in key areas, and more broadly and effectively communicating those innovations and resulting successes. I am confident that COSIA is aptly positioned to implement this new strategic direction and to continue the invaluable contribution of accelerating environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands.
Interim Chief Executive