Abstract

There has been a notable disagreement between life cycle GHG emission estimates reported by research communities and key energy sector stakeholders as many LCA models are not validated against real operation data. This is originated from lack of collaboration and knowledge exchange between model developers and company experts. We present a pragmatic procedure for engaging company experts to advance the assumptions, models, and information used in an open-source LCA simulator (OPGEE). Using real operation and local emission factor data, two oil sands SAGD fields GHG emissions are compared rigorously against the scope 1 and 2 reported emissions. By introducing consistent region-specific input data, system boundaries, and assumptions, OPGEE carbon intensity estimates are within 1%-5% of reported data by companies. The system boundary expansion (e.g., expanding from direct emissions to also include offsite emissions from natural gas co-production, diluent source emission) impacts the GHG intensities estimates for both fields.

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