Evaluation to begin on Pathways Alliance proposed CO2 storage hub

By Pathways Alliance | January 04, 2023

The Pathways Alliance, representing Canada’s largest oil sands producers, has entered into a Carbon Sequestration Evaluation Agreement with the Government of Alberta.

The agreement enables the Alliance to immediately start a detailed evaluation of its proposed geological storage hub which would be one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. This will help further assess the geological characteristics and properties of the deep underground CO2 storage formation.

“This agreement marks another significant milestone on the road to finalizing plans for our proposed CCS project in northeastern Alberta and achieving our goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 to help Canada meet its climate commitments,” said Kendall Dilling, President of the Pathways Alliance.

“We appreciate the comprehensive and collaborative efforts of the Government of Alberta to manage the growth of carbon capture and storage strategically and responsibly.

“CCS has been globally recognized as one of the most effective means of reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions, and Alberta’s geology makes this one of the most ideally suited places in the world to safely inject and permanently store CO2.

“With this agreement in place, we can continue to progress this ambitious project that will help position Canada as one of the world’s most advanced nations in decarbonizing its energy production.”

The agreement paves the way to start the detailed testing required to further assess sequestration suitability, with field work set to start this winter.

This testing – and existing information collected by Pathways Alliance companies with operations in the area – will help with field development plans to support the final application for a storage agreement and further regulatory approvals.

The proposed carbon storage hub would be connected to a transportation line that would initially gather captured CO2 from an anticipated 14 oil sands facilities in the Fort McMurray, Christina Lake and Cold Lake regions. The plan is to grow the transportation network to include over 20 oil sands facilities, and to accommodate other industries in the region interested in CCS.

The project is critical to achieving Pathways Alliance’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions from its member companies’ oil sands operations by 22 million tonnes by 2030 and enabling the goal of net zero by 2050.

Engagement is ongoing with local stakeholders and First Nation and Métis communities along the proposed CO2 transportation line and storage network.

Launched in 2021, Pathways Alliance is a collaboration between Canadian Natural, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips Canada, Imperial, MEG Energy and Suncor Energy, which together operate approximately 95 per cent of Canada’s oil sands production.

Canadians can learn more about Pathways Alliance’s plan and its unprecedented level of collaboration to develop and deploy technologies to reduce emissions by visiting https://pathwaysalliance.ca.