Husky addresses local and regional air quality where it operates, assessing equipment and facilities in order to mitigate the impacts of its operations.
Husky’s air quality and carbon management programs achieve regulatory compliance and are supported by Husky’s Environmental Performance Reporting System, providing for transparency and consistent data. The Company details its GHG emissions risk management approach and metrics in annual submissions to the CDP Climate Response.
With a focus on emission reduction activities, Husky is capturing carbon dioxide (CO2), minimizing fugitive emissions, managing flaring and venting activities and reducing energy consumption.
Carbon dioxide is captured at the Lloydminster Ethanol Plant to aid in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which involves CO2 being injected into reservoirs to increase oil production. The plant captures up to 250 tonnes a day of CO2. Additional CO2 is captured through two pilot projects at the Pikes Peak South Lloyd Thermal Project for use in EOR. The Company continues to evaluate additional technologies.
Husky measures and reports emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and criteria air contaminants, such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX as NO2 equivalent), particulate matter and others. This provides an opportunity to evaluate and manage emissions at the corporate and individual facility level, as well as forecast emissions associated with future operations.
Husky seeks to reduce emissions at its facilities through improved energy and emissions management, and offsets the balance of compliance obligations through the purchase of project-based carbon offsets and Climate Change Emissions Management Fund credits, and through the use of emissions performance credits. It continues to assess opportunities for internal carbon offset projects, including the conversion of pneumatic devices, managing engine fuel, capturing vent gas and conserving solution gas.
The decrease in Scope 1 GHG emissions can be attributed to reduced flaring at the Lloydminster Upgrader, emission reductions at heavy oil wellsites due to compressor installation, a metering correction and, primarily, the disposition of legacy assets in Western Canada, offset by increased production at the Company’s thermal projects.
Increases in SO2 emissions were due to increases from the Company’s thermal projects, as well as a process upset at the Lloydminster Upgrader sulphur plant which resulted in additional flaring, partially offset by a decrease in emissions at the Ram River Gas Plant.
Canada is a signatory to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which commits to keeping the global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius. Policies such as the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change are designed to bring Canada into alignment with the Nationally Determined Contributions under this agreement. Husky models various pricing scenarios possible under full implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework. The Company assesses the risks and opportunities for its business as a result of proposed regulation and demand changes. Husky actively evaluates technology options to improve the emission intensity of its business.
Husky estimates overall solution gas conservation at its Alberta operations in 2016 was 96.6 percent. Husky’s total volume of flared and vented gas in Alberta has declined by 34.1 percent since 2014. Its oil production in the province decreased by nearly 45 percent over the same period. The reduction in flaring and venting can be attributed to the disposition of legacy assets and the decline in non-thermal heavy oil operations. Data from the annual Alberta Energy Regulator’s Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring and Venting Report shows Husky’s gas conservation remains comparable to the industry average.
Fugitive Emissions Management Program
The Fugitive Emission Management Program detects and ensures the timely repair of leaking equipment to reduce emissions. It improves the Company’s operating efficiency by tracking where and when leaks occur and minimizing the release of greenhouse gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Fugitive emissions are hydrocarbon leaks, including methane and VOCs, from valves, piping connections, pumps and compressor seals, and other piping system components that occur as part of the normal operation of a plant. Husky uses a number of techniques to detect a leaking component, including highly specialized infrared cameras that provide a view of normally inaccessible locations such as tank seals and overhead piping from a distance, and ultrasonic detection, which identifies leaking components using sound. Vapour analyzers and ultrasonic measurements can be used to quantify an emission.
Data on fugitive emissions is stored in a central system, allowing for timely notification of surveys and repairs, and the tracking of components and reporting.