Oxford Energy Podcast – CCUS in Canada
Canada is considered a world leader in the deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies, with 17 per cent of total installed capacity globally. Strategically, the federal government has positioned carbon capture as an imperative for the continued extraction, processing and utilization of the country’s vast oilsands and natural gas deposits in a low-carbon economy. CCUS is also viewed as an enabler of the planned hydrogen economy through the production of blue hydrogen. The latter in turn is considered the bridge to zero-emission green hydrogen produced from either electrolysis or the carbon captured from bioenergy. Combined with a sharply increasing carbon price, which will make CCUS implementation more economic, this has resulted in several major project announcements spanning the oil, gas and chemicals industries. If actualized, these would result in the creation of a major CCUS and hydrogen hub in the province of Alberta, and the largest carbon takeaway capacity in the world with nearly 75 MtCO2 transported for sequestration annually. Despite the enthusiasm and the statements of intent, there are still challenges that need to be met and addressed. These include regulatory certainty, CCUS technology selection, project finance and concerns about increasing methane emissions from higher natural gas production. Canada has demonstrated that it can execute and operate world-class CCUS projects like Shell Canada’s Quest and the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL). These successes have instilled a moderate degree of confidence in the pathway and accelerated the momentum for CCUS. Resolving the current challenges will provide greater assurance and ensure the ability of CCUS to unlock Canada’s vision of a hydrogen economy.