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Our Report on sustainability provides an annual accounting of our GHG emissions, both in terms of absolute emissions and emissions intensity. The latter is calculated by using full-year net production and the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) volumes emitted from Suncor-operated facilities.
As reported in our 2013 Annual Report, total upstream production averaged 562,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) through the course of 2013, compared to 549,100 boe/d in 2012. Oil Sands production (excluding Syncrude) averaged 360,500 barrels per day (bbls/d) in 2013, compared to 324,800 bbls/d in 2012.
Read the 2013 Annual Report (PDF 139 pp., 776 KB)
Our Oil Sands business delivered another record-setting year in 2013, resulting in an 11% increase in annual production at Oil Sands operations and record synthetic crude oil (SCO) production. These results were achieved despite a major turnaround in the second quarter and third-party outages that impacted Oil Sands operations during the year.
The fourth quarter of 2013 marked the completion of the ramp-up at Firebag, with daily production rates reaching approximately 95% of capacity. Completion of the Firebag ramp-up contributed to a 31% increase in annual production at Firebag in 2013, compared to 2012. Over the past three years, we have nearly tripled our production at Firebag. We are now the largest in situ producer, with more than 210,000 bbls/d of production capacity from our Firebag and MacKay River operations.
Production numbers in our Annual Report are for upstream volumes only, and include our net share of production from non-operated assets as well as operated assets. This differs from production numbers used in our Report on sustainability, which includes 100% of the production at Suncor-operated facilities upstream only, and also includes downstream throughput volumes of saleable refined products from Suncor-operated refineries and lubricants plant. For the purposes of our sustainability report, total production in 2013 was approximately 49.8 million cubic metres, compared to 49.1 million cubic metres in 2012.
Please note: the sum of the individual facilities production volumes will not equal the reported net corporate production. Inter- and intra-business-unit product transfers (hydrocarbon streams that pass through more than one facility) are removed from the corporate and business unit totals to give the net production. This is done to prevent double-counting of hydrocarbon streams sent for further processing within the company.
- Individual facility intensities are calculated based on net facility production.
- Business unit intensities are calculated based on net facility production totals minus intra-business-unit material transfers.
- Corporate GHG intensity is calculated based on net corporate production which also removes inter-business-unit transfers.
Overall absolute emissions and emissions intensity
Absolute full-year carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2013 totalled 20.6 million tonnes, compared to 20.3 million tonnes in 2012 – a 1.4% or 0.3 megatonne increase. This was mainly due to 1.2 megatonnes of CO2e emissions from the ramp up of Firebag expansion phases 3 and 4, with a majority of the increase coming from the Firebag phase 4. This was partially offset by the sale of most of our onshore conventional oil and gas properties in late 2013.
Using internationally accepted Global Reporting Initiative protocols, our 2013 corporate GHG emissions intensity remained relatively flat as compared to 2012 (0.1% decrease). Upstream intensity increases at our MacKay River in situ facility were offset by intensity decreases at the Terra Nova offshore operation, Firebag in situ facility and Oil Sands base plant. Downstream, intensity increases at the Montreal refinery, Edmonton refinery, Commerce City refinery and St Clair ethanol plant were offset by intensity decreases at the Sarnia refinery and Mississauga-based Lubricants facility. Improvements in the reliability of our base plant operations also helped to offset intensity increases. These improvements were achieved even with the completion of planned upgrader maintenance and unexpected third-party fuel supplier outages.
Read about the emission factors that went into calculating our 2013 GHG performance
Please note: All numbers included are for material operated facilities and properties only and represent 100% of the direct and indirect emissions at these facilities. Data is not broken down by working interest and does not include non-operated facilities.
GHG emissions (absolute and intensity)
(1) Estimates are based on current production forecasts and methodologies. The tables contain forward-looking estimates and users of this information are cautioned that the actual GHG emissions and emission intensity may vary materially from the estimates contained in the table.
(2) Data from 1990 and 2000 do not include Suncor's U.S. operations, and only include business areas in operation during these years. These data points have been provided for historical comparability, consistent with previous sustainability reports.
(3) Data here includes both direct and indirect CO2e emissions, whereas the data included in the Alberta SGER reports and other regulatory reports are direct emissions only. No credit is taken for GHG reductions due to cogen credits or purchased offsets. Emissions have been calculated using facility-specific methodologies; various reference methodologies accepted by jurisdictions where each facility is required to report GHG emissions. Where a jurisdiction has a prescribed methodology, it is followed and if none exists, the most applicable and accurate methods available are used to quantify each emission source. Beginning with 2013 data, the latest global warming potentials issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their 2007 or Fourth Assessment report have been used to calculate CO2e. Historical data has not been updated to reflect this change as it does not impact corporate-wide emissions materially.
(4) Data and estimates have changed from previous years’ reports due to Oil Sands methodology changes that reflect the inclusion of biomass, a methodology change in the calculation of fugitive emissions using flux chamber data, and revisions to emissions factors and calculations based upon AESRD's request. These changes are also consistent with the methodology used for SGER Bill 3 reporting. Also, previous years’ emission updated numbers reflect changes including classifying purchased hydrogen emissions at Refining & Marketing facilities as an indirect scope 3 instead of an indirect scope 2, and a revised indirect scope 2 methodology for MacKay River.
(5) Data for 2009 and future years include the full-year emissions for all Petro-Canada operated properties acquired in the 2009 merger, even though the merger did not close until Aug. 1, 2009. This is to allow for a consistent comparison to past and future years.
(For certain business units, combined Suncor / Petro-Canada data is provided for some years prior to 2009 but this is not reflected in the Suncor-wide rollup reported here.)
(6) The Suncor-wide emissions intensity uses Net Production, which is the sum of Net Facility Production minus all internal intra- and inter-BU product transfers, to remove any double counting. The sum of the BU intensities will therefore not equal the Suncor-wide intensity.
(7) Refining & Marketing emissions are inclusive of emissions from the pipeline from Oil Sands to the Edmonton refinery, which is included in the Pipelines entity within R&M. The emission total for this source for 2013 was 51,304 tonnes CO2e.
Direct GHG emissions: Emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the reporting company.
Indirect GHG emissions: Energy-related emissions that are a consequence of the operations of the reporting company, but occur at sources owned or controlled by another company (e.g., purchased electricity or steam).
Absolute (total) emissions: The total GHG emissions (sum of direct and indirect emissions) of a facility or reporting company.
Emission intensity: Ratio that expresses GHG emissions per unit of physical activity or unit of economic value (e.g., here it is total tonnes of CO2e emissions per unit of net processed volume in cubic metres).
Overall energy use and energy intensity
GHG emissions are closely linked to energy use with approximately 89% of direct GHG emissions being related to the consumption of energy for operations.
The following energy and energy intensity graphs show similar year over year trends to the GHG emissions and GHG emissions intensity graphs shown above. One of the key differences, however, is how energy generated as electrical power is treated.
Power generated by our cogeneration facilities (a highly efficient technology used to generate electricity from what would otherwise be waste heat) and wind farms is sold to provincial grids in the regions where facilities are located. This power is converted to an equivalent amount of energy and is deducted from our total energy use since it is sold as a product. Associated GHG emissions are not deducted from our total. However, by producing this cleaner electricity and selling to the grid, we are off setting coal-fired power generations and reducing overall provincial GHG emissions.
Read more about cogeneration in OSQAR
Please note: All numbers included are for material operated facilities and properties only. They represent 100% of the direct and indirect energy use at these facilities. Data is not broken down by working interest and does not include non-operated facilities.
(1) Oil Sands data in 2008 included Firebag operations. Since 2009 Firebag has been included in the In Situ business unit.
(2) In Situ data includes Firebag and MacKay River operations.
(3) Referred to in previous reports as International & Offshore. Historical data prior to 2010 included other international assets operated at that time. Since 2010 only energy use and production from Terra Nova off the east coast of Canada have been included.
(4) Refining & Marketing business energy use for 2010-2012 excludes the pipeline stations located on the pipeline from Oil Sands to Edmonton refinery. The energy associated with this source is included in the Suncor-wide total for 2010-2012 data. In 2013 this energy source was included within the R&M business unit and is also reflected in the Suncor-wide total.
(5) Renewables business unit is inclusive of the St. Clair ethanol plant for 2009-2013 and Suncor-operated wind farms for 2012-2013. Electricity that is produced and sold to provincial grids by the operated wind farms is converted to an equivalent amount in GJs and deducted from the total energy, which is why the 2012 and 2013 intensities decrease due to the startup of operated Suncor wind farms.
(1) Oil Sands data in 2008 included Firebag operations. Since 2009, Firebag has been included in the In Situ business unit.
(2) In Situ data includes Firebag and MacKay River operations.
(3) Referred to in previous reports as International & Offshore. Historical data prior to 2010 included other international assets operated at that time. Since 2010, only energy use and production from Terra Nova off the east coast of Canada has been included.
(4) Refining & Marketing (R&M) total energy for 2010-2012 excludes energy from the pipeline from Oil Sands to the Edmonton refinery. The energy associated with this source is included in the Suncor-wide total for 2010-2012 data. The energy total for this source for 2013 was approximately 426,166 GJ.
(5) The Renewables business unit is inclusive of the St. Clair ethanol plant from 2009 to 2013 and operated Suncor wind farms for 2012-2013. Electricity that is produced and sold to provincial grids by the operated wind farms is converted to an equivalent amount in GJs and deducted from the total energy, which is why the 2012 and 2013 energy use values decrease due to the startup of operated Suncor wind farms.
What follows are highlights and explanations describing the most noteworthy emissions variances at some of our operations. Where emissions were relatively flat or stable, no commentary is offered.
Emissions totals and variances for all operated facilities are available in the performance data section of this report.