MEG produces one of the lowest greenhouse gas intensity barrels in the oil sands industry. Our overall net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity is currently 22% below the industry average, and has the potential to be reduced even further as we expand our eMSAGP technology.
Over the past six years MEG has employed proprietary eMSAGP technology to develop our Phase 1 and 2 assets. Where implemented, the eMSAGP process has enabled us to increase production while using less steam and reduced the steam-oil ratio by about 50% to an industry-leading range of 1.0 to 1.25.
In 2017, we are beginning to apply eMSAGP to the remaining 75% of our assets and expect to see a further company-wide reduction in the steam that we use. A lower steam-oil ratio means less steam, which means a lower energy requirement and lower greenhouse gas intensity.
Cogeneration technology, the process of simultaneously producing steam and electricity, is another key to our greenhouse gas management. In MEG’s operations, the steam is used for SAGD bitumen recovery, while the electricity is used to power the plant site, with excess power sold to Alberta’s power grid. The electricity provided to the power grid has a lower carbon footprint than the provincial average, helping to reduce total greenhouse gas intensity for provincial consumers.
MEG has invested in low NOX burners and combustion control technologies to lower NOX emissions. We have reduced our nitrogen oxide per barrel intensity by 20% and our sulphur dioxide per barrel intensity by 33% since 2011.
As a gas conserving facility, we carefully manage production of natural gas that is recovered with the bitumen – more than 99% of produced natural gas is captured for re-use in steam generation.
We continuously monitor air quality both on and off our lease areas to ensure compliance with air quality standards to prevent off lease odours and associated impacts to surrounding land users. MEG has implemented a rigourous Fugitive Emissions Management System to identify and reduce sources of fugitive emissions.
* Phase start-up: higher steam requirements with low initial production
** Net GHG intensity includes the associated benefits of cogeneration
Sources: MEG's net GHG data from 2010-2015 has been third-party verified. 2016 data is preliminary. In-situ industry average estimate is calculated based on the most recent reported data to Environment Canada, Alberta Energy Regulator, and Alberta Electric System Operator.
*** MEG's NOx/SO2 intensity data from 2011-2015 has been third-party verified. 2016 data is preliminary.
**** Sulphur removal facility installed at central plant.