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We publish an update annually to share in more detail our efforts and progress in developing Alberta’s oil sands in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible way. The report is intended for those who have interest in our performance and a desire to better understand oil sands development and its strategic importance to Shell and to Canada.

Energy is vital to our modern way of life – it powers our mobility, keeps our showers hot and our emergency services, schools and hospitals running.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize that there are more than 1.2 billion people globally who still lack basic access to modern energy. With global population projected to reach nine billion by 2050 the demand for energy to power those basics will only continue to grow.

Meeting the world’s energy needs in the face of this demand is a huge challenge; but so too is the need to address the real and growing threat posed by climate change.

Renewable energy will play an increasing role in the coming years. Even still, as we work towards a lower carbon future it will be necessary to rely on a variety of energy sources. This includes fossil fuels with technologies that reduce emissions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Canada is home to the world’s third largest crude reserves, and as part of that Canada’s oil sands are a key resource for our province, our country, and the world. In addition to providing an important and stable energy resource, the industry is responsible for the direct and indirect employment of thousands of people across Canada. The oil sands industry has contributed billions in tax revenue; funding schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other critical services across the country.

Producing oil sands safely and in a manner that minimizes impact to our environment and society is of the utmost importance to Shell. Oil sands development is governed by comprehensive Federal and Provincial regulations which cover all aspects of air, water, land, wildlife and socioeconomic impacts to the oil sands region and the wider environment. A 2014 study comparing leading oil and gas producing regions consistently ranked Alberta in the top three with regard to stringency of environmental policies and laws, compliance and transparency.

At Shell, we believe the long-term success of oil sands in the energy mix means being competitive both economically and environmentally.

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