07/08/2014 04:16 EDT | Updated 09/08/2014 05:59 EDT

Oilsands Emissions Rules To Be Issued By Industry Group COSIA

Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Suncor Energy Inc. base plant is seen in this aerial photograph of the Athabasca Oil Sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Canadian light oil prices retreated from a six-month high on the spot market reached last week as production slipped and refineries prepared for maintenance. Photographer: Brett Gundlock/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CALGARY - The CEO of Suncor Energy says a technology-sharing alliance of oilsands players is very close to setting greenhouse gas reduction goals for its members.

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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