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Case Study

A Saskatchewan Company Improves Efficiency

A number of corporations have discovered that energy efficiency is one way of improving the bottom line while benefiting the environment.

EnCana Resources, which has a big stake in Saskatchewan and Western Canada, has an enterprise value of approximately $30 billion. EnCana is one of the world's leading independent oil and gas companies. It is currently the largest independent natural gas producer in North America, with daily produced gas sales averaging around 3 billion cubic feet.

EnCana got involved in carbon emissions tracking in the 1990's through the Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR), a non-profit partnership between industry and governments across Canada. VCR's mission is to provide the means for promoting, assessing and recognizing the effectiveness of the voluntary approach in addressing climate change through the reduction of carbon emissions, the most important of the greenhouse gasses (GHG) that cause climate change.

In its report submitted to VCR, EnCana reported four consecutive annual improvements in the emissions intensity of its oil and gas operations. These initiatives avoided an estimated 1.99 MT (megatonnes) of GHG emissions in 2002. Although the company's production has increased, it has been successful in reducing GHG emissions per unit of facility throughput, thereby reducing absolute emissions that would have otherwise occurred.

Of course, emissions reductions typically come from energy conservation and efficiency, and save the company a lot of money.

On the down side, EnCana reports it has now captured most of the major efficiencies available to it. Although it can still increase it efficiency, the companies growth will mean higher overall GHG emissions in coming years.

Another one of EnCana's interesting emission reduction projects is happening in Saskatchewan, at EnCana's Weyburn Saskatchewan CO2 miscible flood project. Weyburn's tertiary enhanced oil recovery program sequesters CO2 as part of the enhanced oil recovery process. The source of the CO2 stream is a coal gasification plant located in North Dakota that previously vented the CO2 into the atmosphere. Approximately half of this previously vented CO2 is now captured and injected into the Weyburn oil reservoir where it is expected to remain in the reservoir indefinitely. Net CO2 injection during 2002 was 1.77 MT.