A Decade of Clearing the Air in Canada
Williams has been reducing greenhouse gas and sulfur emissions in Alberta, Canada since 2002 by processing gas created as a byproduct from oil-sands upgrading operations. The energy we capture includes propane, ethane and other valuable energy products needed in Alberta’s petrochemical industry and across North America. And we’re the only company in the world doing this.
Now, we’ve signed an agreement to process even more offgas. Under the new long-term agreement, Williams will extract, transport, fractionate, own and market the natural gas liquids and olefins recovered from an oil sands producer’s upgrader near Fort McMurray, Alberta.
“The new operations will also further reduce greenhouse gas and sulphur dioxide emissions from the upgraders’ oil sands operations, and produce valuable commodities that were previously being burned,” said David Chappell, president of Williams Energy Canada.
Our approach to the environment and the community has impressed local leaders like Chief Henry Gladue, who helped in the planning of our new 261-mile Boreal pipeline. This line enables producers to transport natural gas liquids from our extraction plant in Fort McMurray to our Redwater processing facility.
Williams’ Canadian team worked closely with First Nation communities along the pipeline route. It was this focus on cooperation that generated two letters of support when Williams was recognized as a finalist for the prestigious Emerald Awards for our operations in Alberta.
“As the Chief of Beaver Lake Cree National, I am continuously looking for companies in the oil and gas industry to understand the importance of responsible development, and Williams is a company that demonstrated their commitment to this cause,” wrote Chief Gladue.
Companies in the Fort McMurray area that upgrade bitumen from the oil-sands to synthetic crude currently produce offgas containing approximately 90,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids during production. Most of these liquids are now burned as fuel, with higher associated greenhouse gas and sulfur dioxide emissions than would result from burning an equivalent amount of natural gas. With the expected addition of offgas processing facilities similar to Williams’, more of these liquids will be recovered and made available for transportation on the new Boreal pipeline.
Learn more about our Canadian operations here.