The Energy Resources Conservation Board of Alberta has conditionally approved Shell Canada Ltd.’s application for the Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at the Scotford Upgrader north of Edmonton.
The board attached 23 conditions to its approval, mostly about additional data collection, analysis, and reporting. It will require Shell Canada to seek separate approvals for any additions to the project.
ERCB’s approval is subject to review by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, which might impose additional conditions.
Shell Canada is to decide this year whether to proceed with the CCS project, which would capture and store underground 1 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide produced by the upgrader.
Shell Canada, with a 60% interest, operates the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which owns the upgrader and Muskeg River and Jackpine oil sands mines. Other partners are Chevron Canada Ltd. and Marathon Oil Corp., 20% each.
The Alberta and Canadian governments have agreed to invest a total of $865 million in the Quest CCS project (OGJ Online, June 24, 2011).