Shell okays Quest CCS project in Alberta

Shell Canada Ltd. has approved construction of the first commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the Canadian oil sands producing region (OGJ Online, July 12, 2012).

The Quest facility will capture more than 1 million tonnes/year of carbon dioxide produced at the Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alta., and transport it through an 80-km pipeline to a site to the north.

The CO2 will be injected through at least three and as many as eight wells into Basal Cambrian sandstone. The storage layer occurs at about 2,300 m below multiple strata of impermeable shale and salt. The project will lower direct emissions of the Scotford Upgrader by as much as 35%.

Shell said it has received all necessary federal and provincial permits and has begun construction.

The project is a venture of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which owns the upgrader. Shell operates the joint venture with a 60% interest with partners Chevron Canada Ltd. and Marathon Oil Corp., which have 20% interests each.

The Alberta government is investing $745 million in the Quest project from a $2 billion fund designed to support CCS development. The Canadian government is investing $120 million through its Clean Energy Fund.

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