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Suncor Restarts Carbon Emission Cutting Projects (Ind. Report)
Suncor Energy
Date: 2021-02-10
Calgary, Alberta-based oilsands and refining giant Suncor Energy reports it has resumed construction of two carbon emission reducing projects paused last March as the COVID-19 pandemic erupted -- a $1.4-billion project to install two cogeneration units at its Oil Sands Base Plant and a new $300-million wind power plant in southern Alberta.

Suncor reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $168 million on revenue of $6.6 billion, compared with a net loss of $2.34 billion on revenue of $9.6 billion in the same period of 2019, with both sets of numbers heavily influenced by asset writedowns. The company says the current loss includes a $142-million after tax transportation provision related to the recently cancelled Keystone XL oil export pipeline project, offset by a $539-million unrealized after-tax foreign exchange gain on U.S. dollar denominated debt. (Source: Suncor Energy, Canada Press, Feb., 2021) Contact: Suncor Energy, www.suncor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Suncor ,  Carbon Emissions,  


Keystone XL Commits Net-Zero Emissions by 2023 (Ind. Report)

Date: 2021-01-20
Houston-headquartered TC Energy Corporation is reporting a new sustainable energy initiative for the Keystone XL Project. The company will achieve net zero emissions across the project operations when it is placed into service in 2023 and has committed the operations will be fully powered by renewable energy sources no later than 2030. This announcement comes after an extensive period of study and analysis, and as part of the company's ongoing commitment to sustainability, thoughtfully finding innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while providing communities with reliable energy needed today.

Implementation of the initiative is expected to eliminate more than 3 million tpy of CO2 from the pipeline project's operations -- equivalent of removing approximately 650,000 cars from the highway. TC Energy is expected to spur an investment of over $1.7 billion in communities along the Keystone XL footprint creating approximately 1.6 GW of renewable electric capacity, according to the release.

By implementing this initiative, Keystone XL will allow responsibly produced Canadian oil to be safely transported into the United States from many producers who have set their own net zero emissions goals. Canadian Oil Sands producers have cut emissions intensity by 21 pct in recent years and they are expected to fall another 27 pct by 2030.

Net zero emissions will be achieved when the pipeline is placed into service by purchasing renewable energy from electricity providers the purchase of renewable energy credits (REC) or carbon offsets.

The pipeline would carry heavy Canadian tar-sands oil from Alberta to refineries and ports on the Texas Gulf of Mexico via connections in the U.S. Midwest. Former President Barack Obama had killed the $8 billion Keystone XL project saying that it would cause emissions linked to climate change and do little for U.S. drivers. President Donald Trump resurrected the 830,000 barrels-per-day project two months after taking office in 2017. Incoming Pres. Jor Biden has indicated he will kill the project almost immediately upon entering the White House. (Source: Keystone XL, PR, 17 Jan., 2021) Contact: KeystoneXL, Richard Prior,, Pres., CEO, 866-717-7473, keystone@tcenergy.com, www.keystonexl.com


NY Pension Fund Sets Net-Zero GHG Emissions Target (Ind. Report)
New York State Comptroller
Date: 2020-12-11
In Albany, the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is reporting the $226 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund -- the third largest public pension fund in the U.S. -- aims to transition its portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. This process will include completion within four years of a review of investments in energy sector companies.

Building on DiNapoli's 2019 Climate Action Plan, the Fund will continue its use of minimum standards for determining whether a company is well-prepared for the transition to a low-carbon global economy. Companies failing to meet the fund's standard will be dropped from the fund's portfolio.

The Fund has already set minimum standards for the thermal coal mining industry and divested from 22 coal companies. The Fund is currently evaluating nine oil sands companies, and will develop minimum standards for investments in shale oil. The Fund will also establish interim trajectory goals to measure progress toward its 2040 net zero target and institute transparency measures regarding the Fund's progress, including annual progress reports, and updates at the outset and conclusion of each sector review.

As part of its net-zero commitment, the Fund will continue to increase its engagement efforts with companies across industries to encourage them to reach net-zero carbon emissions more quickly, and will continue to vote against board directors at portfolio companies that fail to take steps to mitigate climate risks.

Download the NY 2019 Climate Action Plan HERE. (Source: New York State Comptroller Website PR, Dec., 2020) Contact: New York State Comptroller Office, (518) 474-4044, contactus@osc.ny.gov, www.osc.ny.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News GHG,  Carbon Emissions,  


Suncor Challenges EPA RFS Waiver Denial (Ind. Report, Reg & Leg)
Suncor Energy
Date: 2020-01-08
Denver-based Suncor Energy U.S.A. Inc., a unit of Calgary, Alberta-based Suncor Energy, reports it has filed an appeal of the US EPA's October 2019 decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. The agency recently finalized a rule designed to account for biofuel gallons waived from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

In its appeal, Suncor, which received waivers for what were previously two refineries in Commerce City, Colorado, argued the agency's action was "arbitrary, capricious, and not otherwise in accordance with law." The EPA reportedly rejected Suncor's petition because the refineries no longer meet EPA's definition of a small refinery, which produces 75,000 bpd or less. Suncor previously received waivers for what were two small refineries, one that produced nearly 33,000 bpd and another at nearly 67,000 in 2018. The refineries were among the original facilities to receive waivers in 2006.

According to the company's website, since 2006, Suncor has been making a significant impact in Canada's emerging biofuels industry. Suncor is using revenues from oil sands development to invest in biofuels, particularly ethanol produced from corn. Ethanol is a cleaner burning, renewable resource. The ethanol production industry is expanding in Canada and the United States. New government regulations require that a percentage of ethanol be blended into fuels to reduce the environmental impacts of vehicle emissions. Suncor operates Canada's largest ethanol facility -- the St. Clair Ethanol Plant in the Sarnia-Lambton region of Ontario. (Source: Suncor Energy, DTN, 6 Jan., 2019) Contact: Suncor Energy USA, 303-793-8000, www.suncor.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Suncor Energy ,  RFS,  "Hardship Waiver",  


Insurer Limits Fossil Fuel Underwriting, Investments (Ind. Report)
AXIS Capital Holdings
Date: 2019-10-25
Bermuda-headquartered insurance and re-insurance major AXIS Capital Holdings Limited is reporting a new policy addressing underwriting and investments related to thermal coal and oil sands. The policy is in keeping with the company's commitment to a low-carbon economy and addressing the challenges of climate change.

Under the new policy, which takes effect January 01, 2020, AXIS will not provide new insurance or facultative reinsurance for the construction of new thermal coal plants or mines, oil-sands extraction and pipeline projects, and their dedicated infrastructure, nor insure companies that generate 30 pct or more of their revenue or generate 30 pct or more of their power from thermal coal, or hold more than 20 pct of their reserves in oil sands.

AXIS Capital is the first US insurer to restrict insurance for both coal and oil sands -- a move that won praise from environmental advocacy groups. (Source: AXIS Capital, Insurance Business America, Oct., 2019) Contact: AXIS Capital Holdings, Albert Benchimol, CEO, www.axiscapital.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Coal,  Climate Change,  Oil Sands,  Carbon Emissions ,  


MEG Energy Announces Alberta CCS Plans (Ind. Report)
MEG Energy
Date: 2019-10-02
On the Canadian prairies, Calgary-based MEG Energy reports it is seeking government support for a new carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project that aims to erase emissions from its oil sands facility and possibly from other nearby oil-producing operations.

The company is hoping to have an operational pilot project within two years but has not released costing or other details. (Source:, MEG Energy, CBC, 1 Oct., 2019) Contact: MEG Energy, Derek Evans, CEO, 403-770-0446, www.megenergy.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  Carbon Emissions,  


Cdn. Oilsands CO2 Emissions Far Higher than Reported (Ind. Report)
Environment Canada
Date: 2019-04-24
In Ottawa, Environment Canada is reporting newly published research from Canadian federal scientists suggests a number of major oilsands operations in oil-soaked northern Alberta seem to be emitting significantly more carbon pollution than companies have been reporting, which could have profound consequences for government climate-change strategies.

The researchers, mainly from Environment Canada, calculated emissions rates for four major oilsands surface mining operations using air samples collected in 2013 on 17 airplane flights over the area. In results published today in the journal Nature Communications, the scientists say the air samples from just those surface mining operations suggest their carbon dioxide emissions are 64 pct higher, on average, than what the companies themselves report to the federal government using the standard United Nations reporting framework for greenhouse gases. The findings suggest Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions would be around 2.3 pct higher than previously thought.

The report suggests the differences between the new estimates and previously reported numbers are related to methodology. The standard "bottom up" method sees companies quantify the amount of fuel they use at each source of their operation, from extraction to delivery of crude to refineries. They then calculate their carbon emissions from their fuel use. The scientists behind the Environment Canada study used a "top-down" approach involving hundreds of air samples taken during more than 80 hours of flights over four major surface mining operations in northern Alberta: Syncrude Canada's Mildred Lake facility, Suncor's Millennium and North Steepbank site, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.'s Horizon mine, and what was then Shell's Albian Jackpine operation, now majority owned by Canadian Natural.

The gap between the facilities' reported CO2 emissions and the levels calculated by researchers was 13 pct for the Suncor site, 36 pct for the Horizon mine, 38 pct for Jackpine and 123 pct for Syncrude. The study did not include emissions from all oilsands operations that use in-situ extraction, pumping steam into the ground to get the petroleum out. About 80 pct of oilsands reserves, and the majority of current production, require in-situ extraction. That means the overall amount of under reported greenhouse gas emissions could be significantly higher. (Source: Environment Canada, CBC News , 23 April, 2019) Contact: Environment Canada, John Liggio, www.linkedin.com/in/john-liggio-34349467

More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment Canada,  Carbon Emissions,  Oil Sands,  Carbon Emissions,  

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