Syncrude’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arise from the use of energy, including natural gas, in the production of crude oil.
Since 1982, Syncrude has reduced its energy use per barrel by 39 percent through the development and implementation of multiple innovations to increase energy efficiency and decrease CO2 emissions. For example, Syncrude developed hydrotransport, a process that conditions the water and oil sands mixture in the pipeline that travels between the mine trains and the bitumen extraction plant. This decreased slurry temperatures, energy requirements and CO2 emissions and is now the oil sands industry standard for ore transport. Syncrude also introduced low energy extraction that reduced the thermal energy requirements for bitumen extraction, resulting in significantly lower CO2 emissions and lower operating costs.
Research and development investments continue in this area.
About 20 per cent of GHG emissions from a barrel of oil are created during the production, refining and transportation to market of the product, while 80 per cent comes from consumption of the oil, mostly through the tailpipes of vehicles.