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Case Study

Breaking down barriers to integrate innovation in Canada's oil sands

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Integrating new tech into existing oil sands facilities is a daunting task for operators. It often comes with hidden costs, discouraging the development of new solutions that could lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve performance.

The Canada Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is tackling the challenge. We worked with COSIA to develop a Cost Benefit Analysis Tool (CBA) that gives a full picture of the investment needed to implement new tech into oil sands facilities – so COSIA can screen technology quickly and consistently.

Sharing a vision of a sustainable oil sands, from the start

Like COSIA, we’re committed to developing technologies and pathways to reduce emissions in oil and gas. Our past work with COSIA includes an assessment of heat recovery tech that resulted in a 10 per cent reduction in emissions and an increase in the rates of financial return.

We used our experience working on all types of oil sands facilities to develop a standardized framework for COSIA to assess and screen new tech. At the heart of CBA is a set of key performance indicators to drive consistent evaluation.

CBA is easy to use and includes a step-by-step method to capture standardized cost information for tech integration, ownership and operation. Users can run model simulations to explore the impact of different costs, cash flow and emissions performance.

Cost and performance transparency for industry adopters

One of COSIA’s members used the tool to calculate the economic and environmental impact of implementing enhanced geothermal systems that would supply hot water to oil sands operations. It forecasted a reduction in GHG emissions by an average of 60 kilotons annually over 30 years, with a 4 to 10 per cent internal rate of return (IRR).

We continue to work closely with COSIA to support CBA users. The tool is available on COSIA’s website to stakeholders interested in simplifying tech adoption within the oil sands.

To check out CBA and learn more, visit

CBA helps innovators and investors get on the same page much faster and accelerates the business case.

Stephen Arseniuk, Director, Innovation+ and New Opportunities, COSIA