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Shell and CCS
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the only technology available to mitigate emissions from large-scale fossil fuel use. The technology at each step of the process has been in use for many decades. But before the process can be widely adopted it must be demonstrated end-to-end. Shell is involved in a number of demonstration projects around the world, but government support is needed to allow CCS to become financially viable and widespread.
We are helping to develop large-scale commercial projects and have research partnerships with industry and leading academic institutes. Our current activities include:
At the Gorgon gas fields off the coast of Western Australia, natural gas will travel through undersea pipelines to a liquefied natural gas plant on nearby Barrow Island.
Once injection operations are at full capacity, 3-4 million tonnes a year of naturally occurring CO2 produced with the natural gas will be captured and injected into a deep sandstone formation around 2.5 kilometres beneath the island.
Chevron is leading the Gorgon project, with Shell and ExxonMobil as partners. Gorgon is the world’s largest CCS project.
The Quest carbon capture and storage facility is now operating at the Shell Scotford Upgrader in Alberta, Canada
Quest is a fully integrated CCS project, designed to capture, transport and store more than a million tonnes of CO2 annually deep underground.
Quest is the first commercial application of CCS in the oil sands industry. It is part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project , a joint venture with Shell (operator and 60% owner) Chevron Canada and Marathon Oil Canada Corp. Additionally, Quest received significant support from the governments of Alberta and Canada, which provided C$745 million and C$120 million of funding respectively.
Shell is sharing the knowledge and lessons learned from building Quest to encourage more widespread implementation of CCS.
Shell Cansolv CCS technology
CCS technology developed by Shell Cansolv is now in use at the Boundary Dam power station in Saskatchewan, Canada. Boundary Dam is SaskPower’s largest coal-fired power station and a significant source of power for the region.
CCS has been installed in one unit of the plant and will be able to capture around 1 million tonnes of CO2 a year. Most of the CO2 will be used for enhanced oil recovery to improve efficiency in nearby oil fields and then permanently stored underground.
Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), Norway
The Technology Centre Mongstad, Norway, is the largest centre of its kind to test CO2 capture technologies
This is the largest centre of its kind to test CO2 capture technologies. It demonstrates CO2 capture at scale (up to 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year) and contributes to reducing the costs of CO2 capture. The centre was inaugurated in May 2012 and two different capture technologies are currently being tested. Owners of the centre are Gassnova SF, A/S Norske Shell, Sasol and Statoil ASA.
Our other industry research partnerships include the Weyburn-Midale project in Canada.
It is researching CO2 which is first injected into the ground to boost oil recovery and later injected for permanent storage.
In southern Australia we are also involved in the Otway project, where compressed CO2 and methane from a gas well is piped for injection into a depleted natural gas reservoir two kilometres below the surface.
It aims to demonstrate to the local community the safety of storing CO2.
So far, around 65,000 tonnes of CO2 have been injected and stored in a depleted gas reservoir deep underground and further injections into different formations are planned.
Government funding is vital during the demonstration phase of CCS because companies face high costs with no immediate return. In the longer term, Shell believes governments need to create the policies and frameworks – such as cap and trade mechanisms – that put a price on CO2. This will encourage the use of all technologies to mitigate CO2, starting with those that are the quickest and easiest to implement.