Husky Energy is one of Canada’s largest integrated energy companies, with domestic operations focused on thermal bitumen (heavy oil) production in Western Canada and offshore oil extraction in Atlantic Canada. It operates internationally in the Asia Pacific region, producing offshore natural gas in Indonesia and China. Husky also owns a number of retail gas operations in Canada, extending from British Columbia (BC) to Ontario.
Husky makes our list because it is a major emitter. Its fossil fuel production operations in Canada are already extensive—exceeding 322,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2017. 13 Husky is eager to expand its emissions-intensive oil production, beginning with three steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) heavy oil plants in Saskatchewan, now under development, and with an additional 17 plants identified.14
Head office: Calgary, Alberta
Countries of operation: Canada, Indonesia, China
Revenue: C$18.95 billion 15
Assets: C$32.9 billion 16
Reserves: 974,100,000 oil bbl, 1,174,100 gas MMcf 17
Production: oil, natural gas liquids and oil sands: 220,100 bbl/d; natural gas: 378.200 MMcf/d; total: 283,133 boe/d18
Employees: 5,150 19
Memberships: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canadian Fuels Association, IPIECA, International Emissions Trading Association, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership20
Husky was founded in Wyoming in 1938 as a refining company based in the US. It opened its first Canadian oil refinery in Lloydminster in 1947, creating a wholly owned subsidiary, Husky Oil and Refining Ltd., which was headquartered in Calgary.1 Husky’s Canadian operations were incorporated as Husky Oil Ltd., with shares issued in both Canada and the US. In 1960, Husky Oil acquired the remaining shares of the US-based company.2 In 1991 Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Li Ka-shing became the majority shareholders of Husky, cementing the company’s ties to Chinese capital. In 2000, Husky merged with Renaissance Energy Ltd.—a smaller, conventional oil company—for C$3.02 billion, and subsequently renamed itself Husky Energy Inc.3
Husky has invested heavily in Canadian oil production, in particular the extraction of heavy oil deposits. By the end of 2016, roughly two-thirds of Husky’s heavy oil production was generated by thermal technology.4 The majority of Husky’s heavy oil assets are concentrated in the Lloydminster region of Saskatchewan and Alberta. Ten projects are now producing in the region, including the recent Edam East, Vawn and Edam West projects, which began operation in 2016.5
The company’s downstream operations include an asphalt refinery in Lloydminster, Alberta, and a refinery in Prince George, BC, that produces a variety of transportation fuels like gasoline, diesel and propane.6 Husky also operates deep- and shallow-water offshore gas facilities in the Asia-Pacific region, a number of which involve partnerships with China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. (CNOOC).7
|Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.
|LF Investments SARL
|Franklin Resources Inc.
|Royal Bank of Canada
Included are all shareholdings of 1% and greater. Source: Orbis Database, October 2018.
Husky continues to expand its operations in Canada. Upgrading construction is currently underway at the Rush Lake 2 thermal bitumen project and is scheduled for startup in 2019. Three other Lloydminster-area thermal projects with a total capacity of 30,000 barrels per day were sanctioned at Dee Valley, Spruce Lake North and Spruce Lake Central in 2016. Subject to regulatory approval, the company expects first production for all three to begin in 2020.8
On climate, Husky acknowledges the 2 degree Celsius global warming limit set out under the Paris Agreement, but suggests that its lobbying activities with governments about proposed climate policies seek to protect its “competitiveness”—its ability to compete with other companies in a global market.9 To lower its emissions, Husky emphasizes carbon capture technology: it has a few projects currently in operation, and it has a number of projects in the development stage.10
Husky’s Canadian operations have a history of oil and gas spills and unsafe practices.
On July 20, 2016, approximately 225,000 litres of heavy oil spilled into the North Saskatchewan River from a Husky pipeline in central Saskatchewan. The spill was first detected by Husky Energy’s pipeline monitoring system on the evening of July 20 but was not declared to the Saskatchewan government until 14 hours later. Husky also failed to dispatch a crew to shut down the pipeline until the morning of July 21, allowing the spill to travel 500 km down the North Saskatchewan River. The spill polluted the drinking water supply of 70,000 people, forcing the municipalities of Prince Albert, Melfort and North Battleford to shut down their water treatment facilities for almost two months.11
Husky has also had problems in its day-to-day operations. In February 2013, the company was issued a safety order by the National Energy Board requiring it to halt work on its two wells in the Northwest Territories after the NEB found a series of safety violations. These violations included the loss of consciousness of a water truck driver that the company failed to report until a week later, as well as an equipment and procedural failure that led to a flash fire.12
Learn more about Husky Energy at LittleSis.org
The intent of the Corporate Mapping Project database is to engage Canadians in a conversation about the role of the fossil fuel sector in our democracy, by “mapping” how power and influence play out in the oil, gas and coal industries of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.