Technologies used for CCS have been in use for a long time. The natural gas industry already captures extra CO2 from natural gas and oil and gas producers have decades of experience injecting CO2 into oil fields for enhanced oil recovery or EOR.
Burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas produces greenhouse gases (GHG), one of which is CO2. GHGs from human activities are a significant contributor to climate change. CCS takes CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the air and stores it one to two kilometres deep underground. It is successfully being used in other countries, including Norway, Australia and in Denmark, without adverse effects.
Dedicated research programs are being conducted at Alberta's two largest universities. The federal government, together with provincial and industry partners, established Carbon Management Canada at the University of Calgary. The national research network is dedicated to conducting research into developing CCS technology. The Imperial Oil-Alberta Innovates Centre for Oil Sands Innovation, located at the University of Alberta, focuses on technological solutions for oil sands mining.
Members in Action
Turning Waste into FuelNexen is turning a heavy oil waste product into a synthetic gas to help fuel its steam assisted gravity drainage operation (SAGD) at Long Lake. The project, southeast of Fort McMurray, is the fourth major integrated oil sands project in Canada and the first to feature SAGD and onsite upgrading on a large scale.
Quest for Less CO2
Shell’s Quest Project, the first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project for an oil sands operation, will be starting up in 2015. The project will take more than one million tonnes of CO2 per year from the Scotford Upgrader and transport via a 65-kilometre pipeline to an injection location north of the Scotford Complex.
One Stop Shopping for CO2
North West Upgrading is a partner in one of the biggest efforts in the history of Alberta’s energy industry to rein in the province’s oil sands CO2 emissions. Its strategy will be the equivalent of removing 300,000 cars from the roads every year for the first phase alone.