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Innovation: The gateway to sustainable advancements

Innovation
The Svante carbon capture pilot (pictured during construction) at our Pikes Peak South thermal project near Lloydminster, SK.

October 2021 - At Cenovus Energy, we take our commitment to sustainability seriously. And now we are taking our commitment to another level with the launch of a new team that will drive innovative technology solutions for our operations and further reduce our environmental impact.

Our Innovation Gateway team is on a mission to deliver our sustainability goals, upgrade the tools and processes we use in our day-to-day operations, maximize our financial performance and enhance our product value.

“This team is a group of talented individuals dedicated to helping us achieve our sustainability goals while also playing a mission critical role in helping us achieve our ambition of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” explains Anamika Mukherjee, Director of Innovation Gateway at Cenovus. “We aim to reach these goals by helping to elevate technology and innovation in three areas – carbon, cost and revenue – all while ensuring we do not inadvertently create new waste streams.” Consisting of four groups that work closely together on creating and testing unique solutions for our business, Innovation Gateway is made up of the following:

  • Clean energy innovation: Evaluating alternative sources of energy that have the potential to complement and support our operations, including hydrogen, small modular nuclear reactors and geothermal energy, while exploring technologies to add value to our Downstream and Midstream businesses.
  • Carbon capture utilization & storage: Evaluating new and near-commercial carbon capture technologies and creating the most suitable emissions reduction strategies for our operations.
  • Subsurface: Improving methods of oil production from bitumen reservoirs and finding innovative ways to improve our environmental performance by using steam and solvents.
  • Field pilots: Testing the ideas and solutions proposed by the rest of the team, this group uses their hands-on experience to build and monitor pilot projects at our sites.

“The establishment of our Innovation Gateway team is a huge step for Cenovus because this gives us the ability to pick and test the solutions that make the most sense for our business,” explains Scott Smith, Leader of the Clean Energy Innovation group. “We are not limited to adopting existing solutions, we’re able to focus on identifying innovations that are aligned to our environmental targets —ensuring we balance our environmental, social and governance objectives with what is best for the company.”

In addition to investing in developing and testing our own technologies and solutions, the Innovation Gateway team has the unique opportunity to be part of ground-breaking collaborations with our peers, academics and other industries across the world and to regularly evaluate technology ideas from the public.

“We try and evaluate all viable submissions. Academics, companies and members of the general public are encouraged to come to us with their ideas. We try and review the concepts submissions and if we choose to pursue it, we may test the best ideas by going from a small and controlled lab scale to an actual pilot project with the help of our field pilots group,” says Scott.

With quite a few technology and innovation collaborations and pilots underway already, the Innovation Gateway team is dedicated to ensuring Cenovus reaches our goals and continues to shape the future of energy.

“It’s an absolute privilege to be leading this new team and be able to proactively and collaboratively work on some of the biggest challenges this world has seen,” says Anamika. “When you collaborate with a team of highly talented, purpose-driven scientists, engineers and technologists, it means that we will most certainly solve these sustainability challenges one way or another.”