In-Pit Extraction Process Demonstration

Canadian Natural Resources Limited

  • Project Type

    Implementation

  • Project Value

    $99,700,000

  • Project Status

    Contribution Agreement

  • Location

    Alberta

  • Funding Amount

    $15,000,000

Canadian Natural has taken significant steps to reduce emissions through a comprehensive GHG strategy and investments in technology and innovation. Our long-term aspirational target is net zero emissions in our oil sands operations and the in-pit extraction process (IPEP) is one of the potential technologies that could help us achieve this target.

The IPEP technology involves a relocatable, modular extraction plant that can be moved as the mine face advances. Ore processing and bitumen separation occurs adjacent to mining operations, significantly reducing material transportation. In addition to reducing GHG emissions, IPEP produces stackable tailings within the mine pit, greatly reducing the volume of fluid tailings and ultimately accelerating reclamation of oil sands mines.

Canadian Natural estimates that the IPEP technology could reduce GHG emissions by up to 40% in bitumen production compared to typical oil sands surface mining and extraction processes. The IPEP system would also enable expansion of mining operations without constructing new central ore processing facilities. Canadian Natural has committed to make this technology available to oil sands mining companies through COSIA for more rapid industry-wide adoption. In addition to reducing GHG emissions and creating other environmental benefits, it is estimated that the technology will reduce production costs by roughly $1 to $2/bbl as well as reduce long term tailings management costs and liabilities.