Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL) and Cenovus Energy, two of Canada’s biggest oil producers, said on Tuesday they will set new goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but not pivot away from their core businesses.
Oil sands producers, who extract some of the world’s most carbon-intense crude, face pressure from investors to reduce their environmental impact. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to raise Canada’s carbon price steeply over time to position the country for carbon-neutral status by 2050.
CNRL’s emissions-cutting goal, to be announced in the second quarter, will be on a corporate basis, not just based on the oil sands, President Tim McKay said at the Scotiabank CAPP Energy Symposium.
The company cut carbon intensity per barrel by 18% between 2016 and 2020 and sees carbon capture as a way to reduce its environmental toll further, McKay said.
It does not plan major investments in renewable energy, however, as European oil majors have done.
“The preference is to stick with what we know and what we’re good at,” McKay said. “There’s going to be a need for oil long-term.”
Cenovus, which acquired oil rival Husky Energy this year, is also planning new emissions targets and will not pivot to renewable energy.
“Where we’re likely to remain is focused on oil and gas production,” said Cenovus Chief Executive Officer Alex Pourbaix at the Scotiabank symposium. The company might invest in complementary partnerships in renewable power, he said.
“Don’t look for us to become a late-entrant renewable power developer.”29dk2902l