At Canadian Natural we are committed to reduce emissions intensity from air pollutants such as SO2 and NOx. We measure our air emissions by conducting specific monitoring at our larger facilities and by participating in regional air shed monitoring.
Managing Air Pollutants
Our Performance In The Oil Sands Region
At our Horizon operation we maintain strong environmental performance. Our daily SO2 emissions in 2011 remained well below the approved limit of 16 tonnes/day. Our sulphur recovery unit had recovery efficiency of 98.57% which is better than Alberta's regulated minimum of 98.5% recovery.
A total of 16 NOx emission exceedances were reported to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) in 2011. Though our emission control technology in our cogeneration plant at Horizon uses steam injection to reduce NOx emissions, should steam become unavailable from an outage of another plant, NOx emissions will occur. The steam injection control system is under review to improve its performance.
We are an active participant in the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) which monitors air quality in the regional municipality, and we have an air monitoring station between the community of Fort McKay and Horizon. WBEA's air monitoring information is openly shared with stakeholders and the public and is available in real time on their website at www.wbea.org.
New SO2 Monitoring Program
Our Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) units at Primrose allow us to accurately monitor sulphur dioxide emissions in real time so that we can better manage our SO2 emissions.There were no SO2 exceedances during 2011 at our Primrose South, North and East plants. This program helps us ensure that we are in compliance with AESRD standards while operating at maximum production.
For current and historical SO2 and NOx emissions, please check the Performance section of our 2011 Stewardship Report to Stakeholders.