Cheers to the roads and roofs we rely on every day

It’s easy to take the roads we drive on and shingled roofs protecting our homes for granted, but it’s time to pay homage to the modest, yet vital, material that makes these everyday necessities possible. May 15 marks the debut of Asphalt Day, a global awareness initiative recognizing the versatility, resiliency and growing sustainability of asphalt products. 

Cenovus Energy is the third largest asphalt producer in North America and asphalt production represents a major part of our Downstream business. Our products have been used to pave more than 20.4 million kilometres (12.7 million miles) of roadway across the continent. 

“We are a leader in asphalt products thanks to our ability to create custom formulas, product quality and longevity and top service for our customers,” says Martin Ray, Director, Asphalt & Industrial Products at Cenovus. “Asphalt Day allows us to celebrate the impact of our products in our everyday lives and recognize our ongoing expertise and innovation in this space.”

While asphalt seems an unlikely hero, over 90% of all roads in North America are paved with it and most residential roofs are covered with asphalt shingles. Asphalt is a black or brown petroleum-based material ranging in consistency from viscous liquid to glassy solid. It is derived from the distillation of petroleum or natural deposits, primarily consisting of hydrogen and carbon compounds, with smaller amounts of nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen. 

Our asphalt business is fully integrated with our production and refining operations. It’s supplied by western Canadian heavy crude oil from our upstream production, and processed at our Lloydminster and Superior refineries, then distributed throughout North America via our terminal network and rail connectivity. Later this year, our newest terminal will be commissioned just outside of Denver, Colorado.

In addition to our commitment to continuous quality control and innovation, the Cenovus Endowed Research Chair in Bituminous Materials at the University of Calgary, has been Canada’s top centre of asphalt research for more than 25 years. Dr. Martin Jasso and his team of engineers, chemists and physicists have patented several new pavement products, asphalt repair techniques and new road-testing procedures. 

“Our asphalt business continues to grow and create responsible and reliable solutions to meet industry specifications, tackle climate conditions and address environmental issues. It’s the road we’ve been on from the beginning and we will continue to stay on it now and into the future,” shares Martin.

Asphalt Day on May 15 celebrates the many economical and efficient uses of liquid asphalt in roofing and paving. The Asphalt Institute introduced this annual observation in celebration of the members of their century-old trade association and the industry across the globe.

LAST UPDATED: MAY 2024

Industry and federal funding paves the way for asphalt research

Learn more about our partnership with the University of Calgary to further asphalt research.

Operations at Cenovus

Learn more about Cenovus assets in Canada, the United States and the Asia Pacific region.

Get in touch with us
For more information on our Asphalt products, including spec and customization, contact our sales and technical team or review our map of asphalt refinery and terminal locations.
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