Steve Williams says the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, or COSIA is within "days or weeks" away from firming up the standards.
He says as a first step, it's likely COSIA members will strive to be at least as efficient as other oil sources.
Earlier, Suncor and GE announced up to $18 million in investment for projects that are meant to cut greenhouse gas emissions and water use in the oilsands.
The companies say $5 million is going toward an existing water treatment pilot project at Suncor's MacKay River project in northern Alberta and six COSIA members have signed a memorandum of understanding to spend up to another $13 million to develop new technologies.
Williams says Suncor (TSX:SU) spends about $200 million per year on research and development and that a substantial amount of that can be shared through COSIA.
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