Canadian oil sands titans form information-sharing alliance

A group of twelve major Canadian oil sands producers, including some of the world’s biggest energy companies, have reached an agreement to share unlimited information on environmental technologies, which sweeps away several intellectual property rights.

The new group, called “Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance,” or COSIA, includes BP PLC, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., ConocoPhillips Co., Devon Corp., Imperial Oil Ltd., Nexen Inc., Royal Dutch Shell plc, Statoil ASA, Suncor Energy Inc., Teck Resources Ltd. and Total S.A.

COSIA aims to spread research and technology innovation in several key areas of environmental performance, says the daily. Those subjects include greenhouse gases, land disturbance, water, air emissions and management of tailings, the toxic effluent produced by oil sands mines.

In a statement, the group said the creation of COSIA as an independent alliance builds on work done over the past several years by both oil sands industry members and research and development organizations.

“COSIA will take these efforts to a much larger scale and will help the industry address environmental challenges by breaking down barriers in the areas of funding, intellectual property enforcement and human resources that may otherwise impede progress on environmental performance. COSIA’s collaborative approach will accelerate the discovery and development of environmental technologies and reduce the time from idea to implementation,” the alliance announced.

Dan Wicklum was nominated Chief Executive of the new alliance. He has a background in environmental science and was selected following a national search.

“I am confident COSIA will greatly accelerate innovation and environmental performance in priority areas that Canadians care most about,” said  Wicklum. “Today is just the beginning and I am excited to be part of this new alliance. We understand we have a lot of work to do and we are looking forward to working with our stakeholders and reporting on our progress along the way.”

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