April 19, 2024

Audio system gushed all through the annual two-day convention in regards to the guarantees of latest applied sciences within the oilsands through the subsequent decade.

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The way forward for the oilsands is vivid, argued audio system on the Oil Sands Commerce Present and Convention at Shell Place, albeit with some hurdles that should be cleared.

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Audio system gushed all through the annual two-day convention in regards to the guarantees of latest applied sciences within the oilsands through the subsequent decade.

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Speeches on carbon seize and storage and small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) predicted the rising applied sciences will create financial booms and assist the oilsands meet local weather change commitments. Audio system mentioned the identical about synthetic intelligence, including that the expertise will develop into frequent because the oilsands strikes in the direction of automation.

“Nice issues are taking place proper right here and now, and I can guarantee you this momentum will proceed beneath our authorities,” mentioned Brian Jean, UCP MLA for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche and Alberta’s minister of vitality and minerals.

Jean praised trade leaders for funding analysis into these new applied sciences, and praised technical achievements already made within the oilsands. He pointed to a summer season report from S&P World Commodity Insights that discovered common emissions depth within the oilsands has dropped by 23 per cent whilst manufacturing elevated.

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“These actions have positioned us as a accountable vitality producing jurisdiction, a province that provides sustainability, transparency, safety and extra. The world expects environmental stewardship,” mentioned Jean. “As we transition into the decrease carbon vitality expectation of the pure future, we should do this as a result of that’s the reply.”

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A subject home with exhibitors through the Oil Sands Commerce Present at MacDonald Island Park on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community

Nathan Tedford, director of nuclear applied sciences for HATCH, pitched the low-carbon and effectivity advantages of SMRs within the oilsands.

The expertise has been utilized in submarines and spacecraft for many years. Tedford mentioned conventional nuclear energy crops have gone overbudget, take a very long time to construct and are costly. However Tedford mentioned many youthful local weather change activists are extra keen than their older cohorts to embrace nuclear energy.

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“The perspective is we have to construct all the pieces as quick as we will as a result of this example is pressing, let’s construct nuclear and renewables and carbon seize and no matter else. Let’s do all of it,” mentioned Tedford. “The local weather change motion, and notably youthful generations, are it it as one other device within the toolbox and are asking why aren’t we utilizing it?”

Wes Jickling, vice-president of expertise improvement for Pathways Alliance, mentioned he’s pleased with the tempo of improvement within the oilsands however wish to see it hasten. Pathways is a collaboration between Canadian Pure, Cenovus Vitality, ConocoPhillips Canada, Imperial, MEG and Suncor. The group is pushing for the development of a carbon seize facility within the Chilly Lake space.

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“It’s not like now we have a brand new Apple Watch to announce each six months, however that is the regular tempo of innovation and science and expertise within the oilsands,” mentioned Jickling.

“5 years from now… we’ll have higher data and a greater understanding of the following technology of carbon seize,” he mentioned. “We’ll have one other 5 years of experiences and understanding of land reclamation and biodiversity preservation. That’s a continuing journey.”

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Wes Jickling of the Pathways Alliance speaks on the Oil Sands Commerce Present at Shell Place on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community

The viewers appeared enthusiastic about these guarantees through the two-day discussion board, however there was skepticism about what number of issues could possibly be solved by simply introducing new expertise.

At a discussion board for A.I., panelists and ChatGPT had been requested to reply questions individuals submitted by way of an app.

One particular person requested how a lot hype about A.I. was actual after arguing the excitement round NFTs, cryptocurrency and the metaverse have failed expectations.

One other particular person questioned how the oilsands can keep away from labour disputes as new expertise is launched. That particular person argued the SAG-AFTRA strike has proven employees in all fields need certainty about how new applied sciences within the office will influence their job safety and salaries.

The audio system and ChatGPT mentioned insurance policies might be developed as A.I. expertise improves. In any other case, they insisted there was nothing to fret about.

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Pins and stickers supporting Canadian vitality made by Canada Motion through the Oil Sands Commerce Present at MacDonald Island Park on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community
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T-shirts and stickers supporting Canadian vitality made by Canada Motion through the Oil Sands Commerce Present at MacDonald Island Park on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community
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A drone is displayed through the Oil Sands Commerce Present at MacDonald Island Park on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community
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An worker with the Pathways Alliance explains how a proposed carbon seize and storage mission based mostly within the Chilly Lake works through the Oil Sands Commerce Present at Shell Place on September 13, 2023. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray At present/Postmedia Community

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