The world’s energy mix – the types of energy we use to drive cars, heat homes, or conduct many of our daily activities – is changing.
As our energy system evolves to include more renewable energy sources, Canada’s oil and gas industry is developing ways to lower its environmental footprint. At the same time, the industry continues to contribute to the energy security and quality of life that allow our nation to thrive socially and economically.
Projects like the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), which supports carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), will help change our emissions profile and boost the economic opportunities that come from oil and gas production in Canada.
ACTL is a 240-kilometre pipeline that’s part of Alberta’s first open access CCUS infrastructure project. The project involves capturing, transporting and reusing carbon dioxide (CO₂) to boost production from aging oil reservoirs throughout central and southern Alberta. At full capacity, the project will capture 14.6 million tonnes per year of anthropogenic (caused by human activities) CO₂ emissions from the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent to taking 2.6 million cars off the road.
ACTL is part of a larger initiative to kick-start a new industry that converts CO₂ waste from the oil sands and other industries, such as fertilizer manufacturing and petrochemical operations, into a valuable by-product to support conventional oil recovery. The project is expected to extend the productivity of the Clive field, near Leduc, Alberta, extracting an additional one billion barrels of ultra low carbon oil at full capacity.
The ACTL pipeline is currently under construction by Wolf Carbon Solutions Inc. (Wolf), a division of Wolf Midstream, who will also own and operate the CO₂ capture and pipeline transportation assets. It is scheduled for completion in late 2019.
Injecting CO₂ into depleted reservoirs is one method companies use to extract harder-to-reach conventional oil from the ground and, at the same time, reduce their environmental footprint. The process is called enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Here’s a quick video of conventional oil recovery phases explaining when and why companies turn to EOR.
Enhance Energy’s Clive field, near Leduc, will be the first EOR project to benefit from the ACTL initiative. Over time, Wolf will add pipeline laterals (smaller pipelines connected to the main pipeline) to ACTL, which will transport CO₂ to other aging oil reservoirs. The ACTL Project will leverage the province’s wealth of suitable storage reservoirs, technical expertise and innovative spirit to create thousands of new jobs and generate tax revenue.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged a role for technologies (such as CCUS) in accelerating efforts to reduce emissions (International Energy Agency (IEA). By capturing and reusing CO₂, the ACTL project will play an important part in increasing environmentally responsible Canadian energy supply.
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