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SOURCE: Reuters

DATE: September 4, 2020

SNIP: Canada’s main crude-producing province Alberta looks to use hydrogen to fuel expansion of its oil sands without increasing emissions, even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises strong action against climate change, officials with the two governments said.

Alberta will announce no later than October a strategy to develop “blue hydrogen” as a cleaner alternative to using natural gas to extract crude at steam-driven oil sands sites, Associate Minister of Natural Gas Dale Nally told Reuters in an interview.

Deploying cleaner feedstock will allow Alberta to produce more oil without exceeding its 100 megatonne annual limit on provincial carbon emissions, Nally said.

“Hydrogen will allow us to continue to move the bar and reduce the carbon intensity of the oil sands until you get to a point where there is no difference in (greenhouse gases) in conventional oil and oil sands,” he said, adding that Alberta’s hydrogen plan is synchronized with Ottawa’s.

“Reducing the carbon intensity of the oil sands would allow of course more expansion.”

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas, with the carbon byproduct captured and stored.

[Ed Note: File under “definition of insanity”]