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Canadian pipeline operators have just announced plans to develop a massive carbon transportation and sequestration system, weeks after the largest oil sands producers formed a collaboration initiative to achieve net-zero emissions from operations by 2050.
These plans are just the start of an upcoming massive allocation of capital and planning in the efforts to reduce emissions from one of the world’s most carbon-intensive ways to pump oil, officials in Alberta say.
On Thursday, TC Energy—which definitively canceled the Keystone XL pipeline project last week—said it had partnered with Pembina Pipeline Corporation to jointly develop a carbon transportation and sequestration system, the Alberta Carbon Grid.
The companies expect the system, once fully constructed, to be capable of transporting more than 20 million tons of CO2 annually. The project would serve as an infrastructure platform for Alberta-based industries to effectively manage their emissions and contribute positively to the province’s lower-carbon economy, the companies said.
“The full build out of ACG over time represents the potential for a multi-billion-dollar incremental investment by Pembina and TC Energy over time, sustained by a commercial framework comprised of long-term fee-for-service contracts plus a marketing and trading pool to facilitate CO2 and carbon offset transactions,” they added.
“Our province’s energy industry is vital to achieving Canada’s GHG reduction goals and Alberta companies are global leaders in reducing emissions,” Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage said.
Commenting on the announcement, Greenpeace Canada’s senior energy strategist Keith Stewart told Calgary Herald’s Chris Varcoe:
“We are not big fans of carbon capture and storage, but what we are seeing here is serious money moving into energy transition and that’s a good sign.”
Alberta is betting on emissions-reduction efforts and developing more carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects to abate emissions, as well as “blue” hydrogen from its vast natural gas resources using CCUS technology.
Alberta “is well-positioned to become a world leader in hydrogen development, and is already one in CCUS,” Savage said earlier this year.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com