Publication Detail

Oil Sands Energy Intensity Assessment Using Facility-Level Data



Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Suggested Citation:
Englander, Jacob G., Adam R. Brandt, Amgad Elgowainy, Hao Cai, Jeongwoo Han, Sonia Yeh, Michael Q. Wang (2015) Oil Sands Energy Intensity Assessment Using Facility-Level Data. Energy & Fuels ASAP

The energy intensity and fugitive emissions of oil sands extraction are modeled using detailed public data sets to provide more accurate estimates of energy use. Facility-level energy consumption and environmental emission data are collected on a monthly basis for 24 operating oil sands projects (7 mining projects and 17 in situ projects) over the periods of 2005–2012 (for mining projects) and 2009–2012 (for in situ projects). This is the most detailed data set used to date for greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment from the oil sands and relies entirely on data from government data sets. Monthly facility-level data are aggregated into four pathways, depending upon the mode of primary extraction (i.e., mining or in situ) and the type of product exported [i.e., bitumen or synthetic crude oil (SCO)]. Large variability is found among pathways and between projects within each pathway. Energy intensity ranges from 0.1 GJ/GJ of bitumen for mining projects to 0.4 GJ/GJ of SCO for in situ projects. Month-to-month variability (p10–p90) ranges from −15 to +15% for mining to SCO pathways and from −15 to +11% for in situ to bitumen pathways. These four pathways are developed to implement in the greenhouse gas, regulated emissions, and energy in transportation (GREET) life-cycle model.