Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) in Alberta has taken a step forward with the Atlas carbon storage hub. The partnership with Shell and ATCO EnPower is the first hub project to convert Phase 1 of their evaluation agreement into a sequestration agreement. This allows them the right to inject and store captured carbon dioxide on their lease, approximately 45 kilometres east of Edmonton.

This is a critical milestone for the Alberta government as the province works to decarbonize the industry. CCUS projects in the province have already sequestered carbon dioxide equivalent to taking more than 2.5-million cars off the road. This project, when complete, will accelerate the province’s goals.

“This is a historic agreement for CCUS development in our province. We’re moving as quickly as anywhere in the world to develop CCUS, which is a critical tool in meeting our emissions targets. I am confident other hub operators won’t be far behind Atlas to get their projects moving in this new and exciting energy sector,” said Brian Jean, Alberta’s Minister of Energy and Minerals.

With the agreement in place, Atlas can now apply for necessary regulatory approvals, including Directive 65 project approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for carbon capture, transportation and subsurface injection activities. Part of this approval process also includes addressing concerns from potentially impacted stakeholders. The AER only approves projects that meet Alberta’s rigorous safety and environmental standards.

“Carbon capture and storage is a key technology to help reduce emissions from our own operations,” said Susannah Pierce, president and country chair, Shell Canada. “Alberta is a leader in developing regulations to support CCS development and investment, and this leadership was critical in reaching today’s agreement which enables us to take the important next steps in advancing the Atlas carbon storage hub along with our partner ATCO EnPower.”

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When fully developed, sequestration hubs will allow operators to safely collect, transport and permanently store captured carbon dioxide. Carbon storage hubs will help diversify the energy sector, including development of clean hydrogen, support a shift towards a cleaner electricity grid and help Alberta reach the goal of a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.

“Carbon capture and storage is vitally important in ATCO’s pathway towards net zero and advancing the Atlas Carbon Storage Hub is proof that Alberta is leading a progressive and balanced energy transition,” said Bob Myles, chief operating officer, ATCO EnPower. “The ongoing support of the Government of Alberta and the deep expertise of our partners at Shell underscore the joint dedication needed to actively create a lower carbon future.”

Carbon storage hubs also support plans to reduce emissions in oil sands operations and other industries such as power generation, petrochemical manufacturing, cement and steel manufacturing, biodiesel production and natural gas processing.

For further information, visit: Alberta Carbon Capture Incentive Program

Featured image, from left to right: Brian Jean, Minister of Energy and Minerals, Susannah Pierce, president and country chair, Shell Canada, and Bob Myles, chief operating officer, ATCO EnPower, sign historic carbon sequestration agreement.

 

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