Oilsands, heavy crudes, and the EU fuel-quality directive

The European Union’s fuel-quality directive currently proposes to assign a default emissions value to natural bitumen (oilsands) that is higher than the value for conventional crude oil, in recognition of the increased greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the production and upgrading of oilsands.

This briefing note shows that there is a very clear distinction between the GHG intensities of natural bitumen and conventional crudes in the vast majority of production; thus, the treatment of ‘natural bitumen’ as a separate feedstock is well justified.