Alberta to move forward on next carbon storage hub to serve oilsands producers

It’s a hub that will give certainty to oilsands and heavy oil production,’ says Energy Minister Sonya Savage

Reuters: Nia Williams

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage. PHOTO BY LARRY WONG/POSTMEDIA FILES

CALGARY — The government of Alberta, Canada’s main oil-producing province, plans to move forward “very, very quickly” on its next carbon sequestration hub in the Cold Lake region that will serve oilsands producers, Energy Minister Sonya Savage told Reuters.

Alberta is currently accepting requests for proposals to operate an underground carbon storage hub serving the Alberta Industrial Heartland (AIH) zone near Edmonton. The process to select an operator for another hub near Cold Lake will come “on the heels” of that, Savage said in an interview late on Thursday.

“We are going to need to move on Cold Lake very, very quickly after Heartland,” Savage said. “It’s a hub that will give certainty to oil sands and heavy oil production.”

The government is keen to move forward this year on several carbon storage hubs, where an operator will sequester both their own and third-party emissions, so industries in different areas of the provinces are not at a competitive disadvantage.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is expected to be a key part of global efforts to contain emissions from fossil fuel production. It involves capturing carbon produced from heavy industrial processes like upgrading oil sands bitumen and storing it permanently underground.

Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, said on Thursday his organization considered CCUS to be one of the three most critical decarbonization technologies.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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