In less than five years, the Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility has kept five million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being emitted to the atmosphere, approximately equal to the annual emissions from about 1.25 million cars.
Additionally, the facility attained this milestone at about 35 per cent lower cost than forecast when Quest started operating in November 2015.
The Quest CCS facility captures and stores about one third of the CO2 emissions from the Shell-operated Scotford Upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta (northeast of Edmonton), which upgrades bitumen into synthetic crude oil. The CO2 is transported through a 65-kilometre pipeline and injected into a high-capacity sandstone reservoir more than two kilometres underground, below multiple layers of impermeable rock formations.
Quest is the world’s first commercial-scale CCS facility designed specifically in conjunction with oil sands operations. The facility is operated by Shell Canada on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP). Other ownership interests of AOSP include Canadian Natural Resources Limited and an affiliate, Chevron Canada Limited and Shell Canada Limited through certain subsidiaries. Quest has stored more CO2 than any onshore CCS facility with dedicated geological storage, and the facility has also captured more CO2 in a calendar year than any other CCS facility with dedicated geological storage.
With deep saline aquifers and depleted oil fields, Alberta is an ideal location for CCS. Shell has been sharing knowledge and lessons learned over the past five years at Quest, to encourage more widespread implementation of CCS around the world.
“Widespread adoption of CCS is one of the key solutions the world needs right now to help solve the climate challenge,” says Michael Crothers, President and Country Chair, Shell Canada. “Quest continues to be a thriving example of how this technology is working, making a significant contribution to lowering CO2 emissions. Our expertise, regulatory frameworks and geology make Alberta an ideal place to continue developing CCS technology.”
Alberta’s energy minister Sonya Savage said, “Our energy is produced under high environmental, human rights and labour standards. That’s why Canada, led by Alberta, ranks third among oil producing nations in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors – and we’re committed to strengthening these efforts. Quest’s CCS milestone is the perfect example of how the use of game-changing technology will enable Alberta to build on our existing energy foundation, as we also pave the way for emerging sectors to grow and succeed. Congratulations to Shell Canada, its joint venture partners and everyone involved in Quest’s impressive achievement.”