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Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015  

Imperial to build new oil sands research centre in southeast Calgary

Calgary, AB  February 18, 2015

  • Centre will continue focus on developing efficient next-generation oil sands technologies
  • Facility design will incorporate new technologies and flexibility to accommodate future needs
  • Occupancy planned for 2017

Imperial Oil Limited announced today that it will build a new research facility in southeast Calgary. The new research centre will continue Imperial’s progress in developing next-generation resource recovery technologies for safely and efficiently developing oil sands resources.

“Imperial’s new state-of-the-art facility will support our oil sands research and build on decades of excellent work in making oil sands production economic and more environmentally friendly,” said Rick Gallant, vice-president of oil sands development and research at Imperial. “Our new facility will house lab-scale experiments and specialized facilities to help expand knowledge, contribute to improving existing technologies, and continue our work on the safest and most efficient next-generation technologies for developing Canada’s vast oil sands resource.”

Imperial’s industry-leading Calgary Research Centre currently occupies space within the University of Calgary’s Research Park, and was responsible for developing the two key in situ oil-sands recovery technologies currently in use – cyclic steam-stimulation and steam-assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD. Today, Imperial’s research centre is driving technology in new directions – applying next-generation thinking in pursuit of even better ways to develop Canada’s oil sands efficiently, responsibly and sustainably. For example, Imperial’s and ExxonMobil’s [[LINK ( project]] is the first oil-sands mining operation that does not require an upgrader to process oil sands bitumen into a saleable crude oil. With the addition of electrical co-generation, a barrel of Kearl bitumen will have about the same greenhouse-gas footprint as other oils refined in North America. Imperial is also pursuing other technologies that would virtually eliminate the use of water in oil-sands mining and dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with bitumen production processes.

Imperial’s new research facility, like the company’s new headquarters campus nearby, is expected to meet LEED Gold building standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Full occupancy of the new centre is planned for 2017.

After more than a century, Imperial continues to be an industry leader in applying technology and innovation to responsibly develop Canada’s energy resources. As Canada’s largest petroleum refiner, a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, a key petrochemical producer and a leading fuels marketer from coast to coast, our company remains committed to high standards across all areas of our business.