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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 in 2015, 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 Shell Scotford Upgrader in Alberta, Canada, where a planned CCS project would capture CO2
The Quest project will capture, transport and store over a million tonnes of CO2 a year from Shell’s Scotford Upgrader in Alberta, Canada, starting in 2015. It is the first commercial-scale CCS project in the oil sands industry.
Shell is leading this project on behalf of the other Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture owners, Chevron and Marathon.
In September 2012 Shell and partners made the final decision to begin construction, with $865 million in funding from the governments of Alberta and Canada to support the project.
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.