Precision Drilling CEO says Canadian and U.S. GHG targets are ‘extremely aggressive”


CALGARY — New greenhouse gas emission targets set by Canada and the United States are “extremely aggressive” and being made without proper process, says the CEO of Calgary-based Precision Drilling Corp.

But Kevin Neveu says he supports the climate change goals behind commitments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to slash Canada’s GHGs by 40 to 45 per cent and by U.S. President Joe Biden to cut emissions by 50 to 52 per cent by 2030.

Neveu says there are solutions available now such as using grid power or renewable energy that would allow the drilling industry to meet the emission targets, adding he would urge government to continue to support technological developments that allow the broader oilpatch to also cut emissions.

In a statement, the CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says his members will continue to invest in lowering emissions, citing as an example a reduction in GHGs per barrel in the oilsands of 21 per cent since 2009.

Tim McMillan said the Canadian industry has already accomplished a great deal to reduce emissions and said with current technologies under development, oilsands emissions per barrel are projected to drop by an additional 20 to 27 per cent by 2030.

Sneh Seetal, a spokeswoman for oilsands producer Suncor Energy Inc., says the new targets are “ambitious” and achieving them will require all Canadians to co-operate and change the way they work.

“These are obviously extremely aggressive targets being laid out by leaders in Canada and the U.S. and I think there’s absence of process or plan behind the targets. But you need to start with the targets, I understand that,” said Neveu, responding to a question on his company’s first-quarter results call.

“I think the objectives they are trying to achieve, we agree with and support.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:PD, TSX:SU)

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