By Robb M. Stewart

Imperial Oil plans to ramp up at its Grand Rapids project in Alberta after achieving first oil production with a recovery technology that aims to cut emissions.

The Canadian energy company said Wednesday output will continue to advance over the next few months to hit full rates of 15,000 gross barrels a day later in the year at the oil-sands project at its Cold Lake site.

The project was brought to production more than a year ahead of its original schedule Chairman and Chief Executive Brad Corson said.

The Grand Rapid oil-sands operation marks the first commercial use of a recovery technology that uses less steam, which Imperial projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by up to 40% versus existing processes in use. Known as solvent-assisted, steam-assisted gravity drainage, the Imperial-developed technology uses a lighter oil mixed with steam to recover oil from underground deposits.

Imperial is targeting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions intensity over the next decade as part of Canada's net zero goals. By the end of 2030, Imperial has said it expects to reduce the scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity of its operated oil sands facilities by 30% from 2016 levels thanks to new technologies at its Cold Lake operation, efficiency improvements and the use of carbon capture and storage.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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