Exxon Mobil-majority owned Imperial Oil Ltd.’s Grand Rapids oil sands project has begun production at Cold Lake, commercially deploying the first recovery technology project using less steam to lower emissions.

Production will continue to ramp up in the coming months to eventually hit a full rate of 15,000 bbl/d this year, according to Imperial’s May 22 press release.

The Cold Lake project is using solvent-assisted, steam-assisted drainage, which is anticipated to reduce emissions by 40%. Imperial developed and piloted the technology, which uses light oil mixed with steam to recover oil from underground deposits.

“Grand Rapids represents a key milestone in Imperial’s plans to continue to lower emissions and deliver value for shareholders through high-value opportunities that continue to grow production and reduce costs,” said Brad Corson, chairman, president and CEO, in the press release. “At Cold Lake, we are working to transition approximately 40 percent of production to lower emission technology by 2030.”

By 2030, Imperial plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 30% compared to 2016 levels. In addition to its development of the new technology deployed at Cold Lake, Imperial plans to hit this goal by improving efficiencies at its facilities and capturing and storing carbon.