The Cenovus logo seen at the company's headquarters in Calgary, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Emissions cap on oil and gas sector must consider what is ‘achievable’: Cenovus CEO

Emissions cap on oil and gas sector must consider what is ‘achievable’: Cenovus CEO

Emissions cap must consider what is ‘achievable’: Cenovus CEO

CALGARY — The chief executive of one of Canada’s major oilsands producers said he’s not opposed to a federal cap on greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector, as long as the government realizes that large-scale emissions reductions will take years to achieve.

In an interview Wednesday, Cenovus Energy Inc. CEO Alex Pourbaix drew a comparison between Canada’s current decarbonization plan and the multi-billion dollar campaign to reconstruct Europe after the Second World War.

“It’s kind of like the equivalent of the Marshall Plan after World War Two,” Pourbaix said. “This is something that can be done, but there are limitations on how quickly it can be done, and it very much has implications on Canadians’ quality of life with the cost of doing these things.”

Pourbaix’s comments came the same day Cenovus reported third-quarter profits of $551 million in the third quarter, or 27 cents per share compared with a loss of $194 million or 16 cents per share a year ago.

Against a backdrop of oil prices that have rebounded to multi-year highs from last year’s lows, Cenovus’ revenue totalled $12.7 billion, up from nearly $3.7 in the same quarter last year.

“We are really, really pleased and happy with the results,” Pourbaix said.

Emissions targets