Shell has been given the go ahead to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for the first time with the Athabasca Oil Sands project in Canada.
The Athabasca Oil Sands project, which is venture between Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil, will produce bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands and pipe it to Shell’s Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta for processing.
The Quest project will capture CO2 from the bitumen-producing process and transport it via an underground pipeline to a storage site 80 km away.
From 2015, the system will capture over one million tonnes of CO2 a year, reducing direct emissions from the bitumen processing by up to 35%.
The CO2 will be stored 2 km underground in a porous rock formation called the Basal Cambrian Sands (BCS) beneath layers of impermeable rock and monitored to ensure it is permanently stored.
“Quest is important because it is a fully integrated project that will demonstrate existing capture, transportation, injection and storage technologies working together for the safe and permanent storage of CO2,” says Shell’s executive vice president of heavy oil, John Abbott.
The project is being supported by the governments of Canada and Alberta, where the facility is located. The Canadian federal government is providing $120 million through its Clean Energy Fund, with a further $745 million from the provincial Albertan government.
Shell says it now has all the necessary federal and provincial regulatory approvals in place and construction, which will take roughly 30 months, has already started.
“CCS is critical to meeting the huge projected increase in global energy demand while reducing CO2 emissions. We are helping to advance CCS technology on a number of fronts around the world, but Quest will be our flagship project,” adds CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Peter Voser.
For further information:
US Administration makes new investment in biofuel industry (4-Jul)
US boosts biomass R&D with £50 million in funding (11-Apr)
07 September 2012