Focus on lowering costs
Focus on being the lowest-cost supplier of energy to export markets, delivering oil and gas more cheaply than competing countries and other energy sources. In the past, investors rewarded growth. But a growing trend now exists to reward profitability in oil and gas investment markets.
Focus on adding value
Focus on adding value to low-cost oil and gas in Canada before exporting. Upgrading or partially upgrading bitumen from the oil sands could create new product streams, letting producers diversify markets to refineries that lack the complex configurations needed to process raw bitumen.
Natural gas producers can add value to gas streams by stripping out more natural gas liquids, either for export or for further processing into petrochemicals, which are in demand in Asian markets.
Differentiate Canadian oil and gas
Differentiate Canadian oil and gas by improving our carbon productivity to help capture future investment. Opportunity exists to invest in carbon capture and use technologies and low-emissions power generation to reduce the carbon footprint of fuels.
In the short term, this means capturing carbon emissions from large emitters and using it in enhanced oil-recovery schemes to produce more oil while storing the carbon dioxide underground. In the longer term, it means turning the captured carbon dioxide and using it to create products like aggregate and cement for concrete production.
Increase carbon productivity with a hybrid approach
Use hydroelectricity or renewables to reduce the carbon footprint of conventional oil and gas, similar to what British Columbia is asking of potential LNG exporters. In this case, the province is asking exporters to use hydropower for the transmission and compression of the natural gas. The end product becomes a hybrid of natural gas and, in their case, hydropower.
Use existing processes to create other energy commodities
Take advantage of existing production systems to produce energy commodities. In Alberta, a number of large operators have reported they’re investing in the production of lithium and other elements used in renewable energy technologies. They’re sourcing these elements from produced water from wells and oil-sands.