Alberta province in Canada has some of the largest oil deposits in the world in the form of so-called tar sands. Environmental groups consider that type of oil among the dirtiest forms of crude oil in the world because it is energy intensive, lingers in the environment and emits carbon dioxide when produced.
Lars Christian Bacher, country president for Statoil in Canada, said, in a statement, that his company was working to make oil sands production cleaner.
"Statoil has delivered a successful startup of its first oil sands project with clear progress throughout 2011 on effective production and reduced CO2 emissions," he said in a statement. "We will continue our efforts to learn and develop new technologies to improve further going forward."
Statoil said that, on average, 160 pounds of CO2 were emitted for every barrel of tar sands produced last year. The company aims to cut that level by 25 percent by 2020 and by 40 percent by 2025.