Alberta gives initial OK to billion-dollar carbon-capture project
(The Canadian Press; July 12) - Provincial regulators have conditionally approved the first proposal to pump greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta's oilsands deep into the ground. The $1.35 billion Shell Canada Quest carbon-capture project calls for the permanent storage of up to 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from its Scotford, Alberta, bitumen upgrader.
"This is a really important milestone for the project and takes us one step closer to implementing the first carbon-capture project for an oilsands operation," said John Abbott, Shell's vice president of heavy oil. But Abbott also said Shell must review the economics of the project with its partners, Chevron Canada and Marathon Oil, before deciding later this year if it will proceed.
The Quest carbon-capture project includes $745 million from the Alberta government over 15 years and $120 million from Ottawa's Clean Energy fund. The plan is to pipe liquefied carbon dioxide to injection wells north of the upgrader and store it more than one mile underground starting in 2015. Shell says the liquefied gas would be permanently and safely secured under multiple layers of rock and mineral formations.