What is the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line + Why is it so Important?
The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, is the largest integrated carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) system in the world. But the $1.2 billion ACTL doesn’t carry oil or natural gas through it’s 240 km pipeline, instead it gathers, compresses and stores up to 14.6 million tonnes of CO₂ per year.
“This will change how business is done in Alberta, we are putting CO₂ to use. We permanently keep CO₂ out of the environment, while producing low-carbon energy. Not only are we reinvigorating our rural energy economy at a time when it is needed most, but we are playing a key role in advancing a sustainable solution to global energy requirements.” said Kevin Jabusch, CEO of Enhance Energy,
CCUS is a multi-staged, integrated process. It involves capturing and compressing CO₂, from Industry emitters – before, during or after combustion, to create a dense-phase gas, which has properties similar to a liquid but flows like a gas. The compressed CO₂ is then injected deep into depleted oil and gas fields, where it is permanently and safely stored. The bi-product of CUSS is often light oil.
Oil reserves previously thought tapped out, in fact can still contain up to 70% of light oil. When an oil well is depleted, the pressure drops, making recovery of the remaining oil more difficult. Enhanced Oil Recover (EOR) uses CO₂ to liberate the remaining oil that is trapped in the reservoir.
By flooding CO₂ into a rock formation where the remaining oil is found, the CO₂ acts like a solvent, and reduces the viscosity of the oil, causing it to swell. The trapped oil then flows to the surface. At the same time, the CO₂ ends up replacing the extracted oil, where it will remain – trapped, sequestered, and permanently underground.
– An excellent video by Wolf Midstream – explaining the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line process:
Further, the injection process does not involve fracturing the reservoir rock. There is no concern for induced seismicity, even over many years because the CO₂ is injected at pressures lower than the reservoir’s original pressure. The integrity of the reservoir will not be compromised during the CCUS operation.
At full capacity, ACTL will inject up to 1.6 million tonnes of CO₂ underground annually and produce oil that is 60% less carbon intensive than conventionally produced oil. It is expected that the ACTL will provide an additional 1 billion barrels of high quality light crude oil, generating provincial royalties estimated to be at least $15 billion.
Additionally, the ACTL allows for permanent storage of 14.6 million tonnes of CO₂ per year – which is equivalent to removing all the cars from Alberta’s roads.
– Oil fields are proven traps, known to hold oil and gas for millions of years
– Surface disturbance is minimized because existing infrastructure is used, such as leases, roads and facilities
– Depleted oil fields can accept large volumes of CO₂ for enhanced oil production and subsequent storage
– Increased oil recovery, royalties and job creation provide value to the oil industry, Albertans and all Canadians.
– The CO₂ EOR operation takes place in areas where the public is accustomed to oil and gas activities
– CO₂ EOR storage increases oil recovery while reducing carbon emissions
Pioneered by Enhance Energy (“Enhance”), based in Calgary, which specializes in secondary and tertiary enhanced oil recovery and carbon dioxide capture and storage. The multi-faceted ACTL system is owned and operated by a consortium of companies. It has also been supported by both the Government of Alberta (through its Carbon Capture and Storage Fund) with $495 million in funding and the Government of Canada (through its ecoEnergy Technology Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund) which provided $63.2 million.
To get the project off the ground, the ACTL included participation from multiple partners. To build the pipeline, Wolf Carbon Solutions, along with AiM Land’s contribution, worked closely with landowners through the route and near the injection facility. There was strong acceptance for the project by landowners due to several factors. The most appealing was the economic revitalization ACTL would bring to communities in Central Alberta.
Wolf Carbon Solutions, again with AiM Land’s contribution, worked closely with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) in a collaborative approach to education, information sharing and problem resolution. As a result, the project received all the necessary approvals.
The first Enhanced project reservoir, located near Clive in east-central Alberta, is the largest CCUS project in Canada and the oil produced through CO₂ EOR will be among the least carbon-intensive in the world. Additionally the ACTL route provides CO₂ access to reservoirs capable of producing an additional 1 billion barrels of high quality light crude oil, generating provincial royalties estimated to be at least $15 billion.
Alberta’s newest carbon solution is designed remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere and decrease Canada’s carbon footprint. In addition, it uses captured CO₂ to revitalize a light oil industry, leveraging Alberta’s wealth of oil reserves, along with the industry’s technical expertise and innovative spirit – to create thousands of new jobs in Alberta, and generate meaningful revenue for Canada.
“In a world that will need oil for generations to come, our industry is innovating to keep reducing emissions per barrel. We expect oil produced from this project will have 60 % lower emissions than conventionally produced oil. Plus we’re injecting and permanently storing CO₂ from large emissions sources. It’s a win on every level.” Blair Eddy, COO and VP, engineering and operations, Enhance Energy highlight the production of low-cost, low-carbon oil.”
Clients who choose AiM Land require a company with the knowledge and expertise to complete all necessary steps to get the project done, and done for the best price. We are a full-service broker that does all portions of a project internally; we do not outsource any part of the work. We utilize leading edge technology to reduce costs, improve communications, and ultimately deliver the project more efficiently. Our strong and dynamic team brings a extensive knowledge from the field and varying experiences to each project.
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