Husky recognizes the need to protect air quality and has developed a strategy to address prudent air stewardship.
Because no two areas have the same industrial activity, population density and trans-region movement of air pollutants, air quality is a regional issue. Climate change, however, is a global issue, and has been linked to human activity, fossil fuel consumption and the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Husky manages air quality and climate change issues through its Air Management Framework. The key elements of the Air Management Framework are:
Husky's GHG strategy includes improving the energy efficiency of existing operations, providing customers with responsible fuels and identifying, developing and adopting new technologies.
Husky works with provincial and federal regulators on the development of GHG and climate change regulations while supporting the development of a national climate change action plan. It recognizes the importance of aligning Canadian policy with regulations in the United States. In the absence of national and international agreements, many provinces in Canada have developed individual climate change regulations.
Husky continues to develop a broad base of emission reduction and compliance strategies, including:
Husky addresses fugitive emissions through its Fugitive Emission Management Program. This program includes Upstream and Downstream facilities. Facilities are inspected for leaks, and any leaks are repaired and monitored so they do not re-occur.
Fugitive emissions are unintentional releases of hydrocarbons to the atmosphere from equipment leaks or malfunction. Leaks can include methane (a greenhouse gas) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can contribute to ozone and smog formation.
Husky has two fugitive emission detection programs – DIM (Directed Inspection & Maintenance for Upstream operations) and Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) in Downstream. Both detect, manage and eliminate fugitive emissions, specifically VOCs and methane.
Starting with a baseline inventory of leaking components, Husky monitors the components, identifies leaks, repairs or replaces any leaking components and then does follow-up monitoring.
Leak detection tools include visual inspection, sound detection and vapour analyzers. A powerful tool in the program is the use of infrared cameras that provide a video image of hydrocarbon gas leaks.
Husky owns five highly specialized infrared cameras. The cameras can detect very small hydrocarbon emissions from long distances, which aid in detecting leaks from inaccessible locations, including tanks seals and overhead piping. The cameras are often supplemented with hand-held vapour analyzers to help quantify the leak.
Husky is a member of ICO2N, an alliance of Canada's largest industrial companies involved in the implementation of carbon capture and storage. The group is working on a system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 million tonnes per year during the next decade – the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road annually.
Under the system, CO2 would be extracted from flue gases and transported under pressure through an underground pipeline system to areas where it can be injected deep underground into secure geological formations or used for enhanced oil recovery, extracting an additional five to 15 percent of the oil remaining in depleted oil reservoirs.