To accelerate the development of technologies to help reduce our impacts on air, land and water resources, Cenovus collaborates with industry peers through several organizations.
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. The alliance was launched March 1, 2012 when representatives of Canada’s largest oil sands companies came together in Calgary to sign the COSIA charter.
COSIA’s guiding principle is that all members will have greater success by collaborating on environmental innovation than through our individual efforts. By pooling our resources, and those of the best minds outside our industry, our objective is to develop and share innovative approaches to improve the oil sands industry’s environmental performance.
To date, COSIA member companies have shared 981 distinct environmental technologies that cost approximately $1.4 billion to develop. Here are some of the projects we’re working on or have contributed through COSIA:
CRIN is a network of oil and gas industry professionals, innovators and technology incubators and accelerators. Its objective is to increase the Canadian oil and gas industry’s capacity to test, pilot and demonstrate clean technologies that could significantly reduce GHG emissions and improve environmental performance in our industry.
In 2019, CRIN was awarded a $100 million Strategic Innovation Fund, of which $80 million will be used to seed three open competitions focused on reducing environmental footprint, creating value-added products and developing new digital technologies. Cenovus is actively looking at several projects that may qualify for funding once the open competitions go live to accelerate the deployment of technology in areas that support our ESG targets.
Cenovus, along with Suncor Energy and the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, is a co-founder of Evok Innovations, a first-of-its-kind $100 million investment partnership to connect the energy industry and the global clean technology community. Evok is an independent, entrepreneur-led fund that offers mentorship, access to the oil and gas industry and development funding for early-stage clean technology companies.
Evok’s mission is to accelerate the development and commercialization of environmental and economic solutions that could be applied to other industries in Canada and around the world. Cenovus and Suncor have committed to provide up to $50 million each over 10 years to fund Evok Innovations.
Since its launch in 2016, Evok has invested in clean technology companies working on everything from a light-weight boom for marine spill response, to an intelligent visual monitoring solution that reduces operational costs, emissions and safety risks, to a novel new process to generate industrial scale hydrogen from natural gas. Cleantech investments include:
We're reimagining CO2
What if we could turn carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into something useful?
With support from seven member companies, including Cenovus, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is sponsoring the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE together with NRG Energy of the U.S. This competition challenges teams from around the world to develop innovative approaches to convert captured CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels into valuable products and consumer goods. These CO2 emissions would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.
The competition has two tracks - one focused on testing technologies at a coal power plant in the U.S. and one focused on testing technologies at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, located at a natural gas power plant in Calgary. The technologies that convert the greatest amount of CO2 captured from the plants into products with the highest net value, while creating the greatest environmental benefit, will win the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. On April 9, 2018, XPRIZE announced 10 finalist teams, including four teams from Canada, to receive an equal share of a US$5 million milestone prize to test their technologies for commercial deployment over the next two years. The winners of the contest in each track are scheduled to be announced in early 2021.
What is an XPRIZE?
An XPRIZE inspires innovation and positive change for current problems believed to be unsolvable or with no clear path to a solution. The XPRIZE Foundation is the global leader in large-scale incentive prize competitions that bring together bright minds to find solutions to global problems.
Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre
Starting later in 2018, the five finalist teams competing in the natural gas track will begin testing their technologies at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre at the Shepard Energy Centre in Calgary, Alberta's largest natural-gas fueled power plant jointly owned by ENMAX and Capital Power.
As the first tenants at the new facility, the finalists will use CO2 captured from the flue stream at the Shepard Energy Centre to demonstrate their technologies for potential commercial application. Separately, five finalist teams in the coal track of the competition will demonstrate their technologies at a test centre in Wyoming. In 2021, the winner in each track will be eligible for a US$7.5 million grand prize.
PTAC is a Canadian association with the mandate to facilitate innovation, collaborative research and technology development in the Canadian oil and natural gas industry. PTAC specifically focuses on ways to improve operational efficiencies, enhance environmental stewardship and advance regulatory development.
Working directly with producers, governments, regulatory bodies, technology providers, academic institutions, service and supply companies, entrepreneurs and transporters, PTAC has completed nearly 500 research and development projects since its inception. In 2019, PTAC facilitated, coordinated, and managed 116 collaborative innovation and technology development projects to help the oil and gas industry reduce costs and mitigate environmental impacts.
Cenovus works with PTAC on methane reduction initiatives, reclamation and remediation, water innovation and well abandonment research.