Three Alberta energy companies will receive a total of $26.2 million in government funding to help them bring clean technology projects to commercial demonstration.
Cenovus Energy, MEG Energy, and Field Upgrading were each selected as successful applicants under the federal government's Oil and Gas Clean Tech Program, a two-year initiative that provides financial support to new technology aimed at reducing emissions from the Canadian oil and gas sector.
In addition to the $21 million from the federal government, the companies will receive $5.2 million from the provincial government through Alberta Innovates. The companies themselves are investing a total of $43.3 million in their projects.
Federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, who was in Calgary Thursday for the announcement, praised the three companies for being outstanding examples of Canadian innovation and said their work in the area of clean technology signals a "bright future" for the oil and gas industry.
"The revenues generated from these projects will help us finance the transition to a low-carbon economy, which we know will take quite some time," Carr said. "Today's announcement is a resounding vote of confidence in Albertan creativity, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurship."
Deron Bilous, Alberta's Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said the technologies being used in the companies' projects will not only be good for the environment, they will ultimately make Alberta's oil and gas economy more competitive and help to create jobs.
"These are projects that add value to Alberta's economy and represent the potential for billions of dollars of economic impact and the reduction of millions of tonnes of GHG emissions once these projects reach commercialization," Bilous said.
Cenovus Energy's proposed demonstration project approved for funding under the program will test an oilsands extraction technology using a solvent-driven process. The company will inject solvent together with steam into a well at its Foster Creek site in order to evaluate the reduction in steam requirements, with the goal of developing a technology that can significantly lower the steam-to-oil ratio and water treatment costs associated with steam generation.
MEG Energy will receive funding for its Modified VAPour Extraction (eMVAPEX) technology, which also aims to reduce the amount of steam required in oilsands production. The company anticipates that the technology could reduce overall greenhouse gas emission intensity by as much as 43 per cent, as well as improve overall production.
Field Upgrading will use its funding to advance its Clean Seas Demonstration Project, which uses new technology to remove sulphur and metals from heavy oils to produce a marine fuel that is more environmentally friendly. The company plans to complete an engineering and design study for a first-of-its-kind 2,500 barrels per day demonstration plant.