Canadian oil sands producers have formed a new alliance
named Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), seeking
to accelerate the pace of improving environmental performance
in Canada's oil sands.
Companies to sign the deal include BP, Canadian Natural
Resources, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips, Devon, Imperial Oil,
Nexen, Shell, Statoil Canada, Suncor Energy, Teck Resources and
CEOs of those 12 companies signed the alliance's founding
charter, committing to COSIA's vision to "enable responsible
and sustainable growth of Canada's oil sands while delivering
accelerated improvement in environmental performance through
collaborative action and innovation."
The creation of COSIA as an independent alliance builds on work
done over the past several years by both oil sands industry
members and research and development organizations, the group
COSIA says it will take these efforts to a much larger
scale and seeks to help the industry address environmental challenges by breaking
down barriers in the areas of funding, intellectual property
enforcement and human resources that may otherwise impede
COSIA's collaborative approach will accelerate the discovery
and development of environmental technologies and reduce the
time from idea to implementation, top officials said.
"The public's expectation of environmental performance in
the oil sands continues to evolve. We want to meet those
expectations and we'll work collaboratively to do so, building
on previous successes," said John C. Abbott, executive vice
president of heavy oil for Shell Canada.
"Coming together today to sign the charter is a significant
and important step for all our companies and marks a pivotal
point for our industry, he added.
COSIA also announced Dr. Dan Wicklum as CEO of the new
alliance. Dr. Wicklum has a background in environmental science
and was selected following a national search.
The organization said his scientific qualifications and
leadership experience position him well to lead COSIA, a
science-based alliance focused on environmental technology and innovation.
"I am confident COSIA will greatly accelerate innovation and
environmental performance in
priority areas that Canadians care most about," said Dr.
"Today is just the beginning and I am excited to be part of
this new alliance. We understand we have a lot of work to do
and we are looking forward to working with our stakeholders and
reporting on our progress along the way."
COSIA will establish structures and processes through which
oil sands producers and other stakeholders can work together
for the benefit of the environment, it said.
The alliance will identify, develop and apply
solutions-oriented innovation around the most pressing oil
sands environmental challenges, specifically water, land,
greenhouse gases and tailings, and will communicate COSIA's
efforts and successes in addressing those challenges.
Jean-Michel Gires, CEO of Total E&P Canada, said COSIA
creates a new dynamic for the oil sands industry, promoting new
approaches for intellectual property management of
environmental technology and better working
relationships with universities, research agencies, technology
providers, regulators and oil sands stakeholders in the
communities where industry operates.
"COSIA is a reflection of how the oil sands have evolved into a
global resource, with companies committing to foster continuous
innovation and the development of new environmental
solutions, Gires said.
We have seen what can be achieved when we work
together and multiply our ideas and efforts. For example, work
done by the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) and the Oil
Sands Tailings Consortium (OSTC) are already delivering technology that promises to reduce
our environmental footprint, he continued.
We want to build on these previous successes across
COSIA's environmental priority areas and accelerate the
improvement of our environmental performance.
Companies participating in COSIA will contribute at varying
levels to the alliance, based on their own areas of expertise,
COSIA will rely on the input of scientists and engineers
from within the ranks of the member companies, as well as
leading thinkers from government, academia and the wider