Suncor Carbon Emissions Seen Rising Through 2019 on Expansion

  • Greenhouse-gas emissions to increase 28 percent in five years
  • Emissions will reach 26.2 million metric tons in 2019

Suncor Energy Inc. expects greenhouse-gas emissions from its operations to increase 28 percent in five years as it expands oil-sands production. 

Emissions including carbon dioxide will rise to about 26.2 million metric tons in 2019, from 20.5 million last year, the company said in its annual sustainability report. Emissions in 2014 declined 0.3 percent to 20.5 million tons, a level little changed since 2012.

Suncor and other oil-sands producers have struggled to lower their carbon emissions as they expand production with new bitumen mines and in-ground steaming operations that use natural gas to process the thick fossil fuel. Suncor is building its C$13 billion ($9.8 billion) Fort Hills mine with production expected to begin in 2017.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams said in June he was disappointed with the world’s progress on putting a price on carbon, a tool that would create incentives for the oil industry to lower emissions. Alberta, home to Canada’s oil companies, plans to introduce a new climate strategy before the end of the year and is considering all the options to help reduce emissions, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips has said.

The oil sands are Canada’s fastest-growing source of the climate-changing gas and Alberta is the country’s largest emitter.