In addition, Statoil is planning to develop its oil sands activities step-by-step. The initial five-year phase will be the start-up and operation of a demonstration pilot facility.

A five-year technology plan will provide the basis for initial reductions of up to 25%, with further reductions of more than 40 % by 2025. This means that Statoil, in addition to regulatory reporting, will publicize carbon emission data from its operations.

Lars Christian Bacher, country manager of Statoil Canada, said: “By first of all building a demonstration facility, we have chosen to move forward in a gradual way. Our focus will be on training and building knowledge, rather than on rapid project development and production.

“This demonstration facility will provide valuable operational experience and a basis for shaping our continued technology development efforts. We are not yet producing from our Leismer Demonstration Project, but we know that we must constantly focus on energy efficiency to reduce costs and emissions.”

The Heavy Oil Research Centre that has been established in Calgary works closely with colleagues in Norway to improve energy efficiency and develop technology that will reduce the environmental impact and improve project economy, the company said.

The first phase of the oil sands project, the Leismer Demonstration Project, is on schedule and will start up later this year. After production ramp-up, the project will attain an initial production of 10 000 barrels-per-day (bpd), with the possibility of an increase to 20 000bpd, pending regulatory approval. The next phase, called Corner, is planned to be a 40,000 – 60,000 barrel-per-day facility.