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Canadian oil sands

Oil remains the world’s largest energy source and demand continues to grow, mostly because of increased needs for transportation.

Oil will remain the world’s largest energy source in 2040, meeting about one-third of demand. Nearly 95 percent of current transportation energy needs are met by oil and global energy demand for transportation is projected to increase by about 30 percent by 2040.

Canada’s oil sands represent a tremendous source of secure, accessible and affordable energy to help strengthen global energy security.

The availability of such a resource, co-located with North American markets, is even more attractive today for two reasons. First, many conventional onshore oil fields are maturing; meeting rising energy demand requires new production from less traditional resources, like oil sands. Second, most of the world’s remaining reserves are owned or controlled by national governments. Only one-quarter of total global oil reserves are accessible for private sector investment and one half of these accessible reserves are in Canada’s oil sands.

For more than 60 years, Canada’s energy sector has provided a reliable supply of affordable energy to U.S. and Canadian markets, as well as jobs, tax revenue and royalties, and ever-evolving technological innovation that serves as an engine for economic growth on both sides of the border.

Even with increased domestic oil production, the United States will continue to rely on oil imported from Canada to meet growing energy demand. Canada's oil sands are the largest source of foreign oil imported by the United States. Asia and Europe are also potentially growing markets as their needs increase.

Industry innovation and efficient next-generation technologies

Next-generation technologies are improving oil sands production efficiency, which reduces both the environmental impact and cost often associated with production. To date, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) member companies have shared more than 936 distinct technologies and innovations that cost more than $1.33 billion (CDN) to develop. These numbers are increasing as the alliance matures and expands.

ExxonMobil and its Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil Limited are leaders in the development of emerging technologies that are improving the efficiency of oil sands production and minimizing environmental impacts.

Our new Kearl operation, for example, using advanced mining techniques, energy-saving cogeneration and producing diluted bitumen without an upgrader, will result in about the same life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as many other oils refined in the United States.

The use of solvent-assisted steam assisted gravity drainage (SA-SAGD) at our Aspen in-situ oil sands project will result in about a 25-percent reduction in GHG intensity through lower energy utilization, compared to traditional SAGD production, as well as reduced water requirements – while resulting in a 25-40 percent improvement in production yield.

ExxonMobil and Imperial are committed to further advances in oil sands technology.

Responsible development

ExxonMobil and Imperial are committed to operating in a way that protects the environment, complies fully with all laws and regulations and takes into account the economic and social needs of the communities where we operate. Our environmental policy commits us to designing, operating and managing our facilities with the goal of preventing incidents and reducing adverse impacts.

Canada’s oil sands are a significant, secure energy resource for the United States and an engine for economic growth for North America. In the years and decades to come, oil sands production offers a unique opportunity to increase North American oil supplies, strengthen energy security and create jobs and economic activity over the long term.

ExxonMobil and Imperial recognize that with this opportunity comes significant responsibility – to maintain the strong balance between development and protection of the environment. And the key to maintaining that balance is innovation and technology.