Shell's Quest facility utilizes carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are being used to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Scotford Upgrader. During its first two years of operations, Quest has captured and safely stored two million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) underground.
One of the byproducts of upgrading of bitumen to lighter forms of oil is carbon dioxide. It is created during the manufacture of hydrogen needed for the upgrading process.
Quest applies an amine-based gas processing technique to extract the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the hydrogen production stream. This CO2 is sent to a compressor where it’s compressed to a supercritical state (not quite a gas but not quite a liquid).
The CO2 is then sent 65 kilometres down a pipeline to one of three injection wells. CO2 injected under pressure two kilometres below the surface, into a porous sandstone saline reservoir that can safely and permanently sequester the CO2.
In addition to the immediate environmental benefit of reducing GHG emissions, Quest is designed as a demonstration project to prove the viability of CCS as a mainstream technology. Knowledge and technology from the project is being shared with the public, and the project has drawn interest from governments and education institutions in places like the U.S., South Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Mexico and Taiwan.