Cenovus: Energy transition collaboration in Calgary

August 2, 2022
Innovation Energy & Environment
Cenovus.Christina.Lake 1920x1080

Cenovus Christina Lake Project - Christina Lake is the largest and most efficient steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project in the industry. It uses less water and natural gas and creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce a barrel of oil than other SAGD facilities of the same size.

Calgary-based Cenovus is embracing opportunities to net zero with a collaborative approach to energy transition innovation. As a partner of organizations, including the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero Alliance, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN), the company is invested in a lower carbon future with Calgary positioned to lead cleantech innovation in Canada.

“It’s so exciting to be in this role during this time,” said Anamika Mukherjee, the head of technology development at Cenovus. “Calgary is a very young city. Most importantly, there is a real diversity of thought here. Calgary enables big-picture ideas.”

Cenovus’ pathway to net zero includes managing methane emissions, advancing carbon capture and storage technology and developing clean energy alternatives such as hydrogen, small modular nuclear reactors, geothermal and biofuels.

“The industry is changing at all levels and I am lucky enough to have a strong network of talented people around me,” said Mukherjee. “Collaborative thinking is so organic in our industry.”

Cenovus is part of the $100M Carbon Removal XPRIZE, which is funded by the Musk Foundation for work with Avatar Innovations’ Carbon Removal Accelerator. The Avatar Accelerator is supported by the University of Calgary and many of the world’s largest energy companies. OCIF announced it will provide up to $500,000 to support the Avatar Accelerator in the creation, development and growth of local companies driving energy transition.

The company is also partnered with Burnaby-based Svante, which has pioneered carbon-capture technology to address challenges in large-volume emissions generated by industrial plants. A pilot project at its Pikes Peak South thermal facility in Saskatchewan currently captures about 9,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Cenovus is a corporate sponsor of the Creative Destruction Lab - Rockies at the University of Calgary, which accelerates the commercialization of tech startups. It’s also a supporter of the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation and, in collaboration with Calgary-based CleanO2, is working on a project to provide carbon capture technology for non-profits.

As a partner of Avatar Innovations, Cenovus employees are participating in Avatar Innovations’ Ignite Program as mentors and innovators, including Mukherjee who also sits on the advisory board. 

“We have always had a strong commitment to sustainability, the communities we work with and the environment,” said Mukherjee. “We believe in failing fast, learning quickly and deploying the best technology solutions that will serve our business and planet in the long-term.”

For the full story on Cenovus and what it’s like to work in tech in the third most livable city in the world, visit Live Tech, Love Life. For more on the $61 billion net-zero opportunity in Alberta, visit our Energy and Environment sector page to access the Alberta Energy Transition Study.

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