Carbon capture and storage (CCS)

Pathways Alliance’s proposed foundational project is a 400-kilometre CO₂ transportation line that could eventually link over 20 CCS facilities with a carbon storage hub in northeast Alberta.

What is carbon capture and storage (CCS)?

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a key part of the Pathways Alliance plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from oil sands operations. It’s a proven, reliable process that is being used around the world.

CCS captures carbon dioxide, CO2, before it is emitted from a facility. Next, it transports the CO2 to a secure location and stores it safely and permanently more than one kilometre underground—a depth equivalent to about three stacked Empire State Buildings.

CCS helps address climate change by preventing CO2 created by industrial activities from entering the atmosphere, where it would otherwise contribute to the conditions that cause climate change.

The International Energy Agency, which provides data and analysis on the global energy sector, estimates that CCS technologies could reduce the world’s CO2 emissions by around one sixth by 2050.

Canada’s oil sands industry has been a leader in the development of CCS technologies and processes, ensuring they are effective and safe. This experience and expertise will help drive the transition to a sustainable energy future. One with net-zero emissions from oil sands operations.

By working together and with governments, oil sands companies are helping Canada achieve its climate goals. CCS is one of many paths that will lead oil sands operations to net-zero emissions.

It’s a key component of our net-zero strategy because it’s one of the most advanced technologies for emissions reduction and our members have the expertise to implement it right now.

Kendall Dilling
President, Pathways Alliance
Person working outdoors at an operating facility, wearing a reflective black jacket, white hard hat and protective gloves.

Carbon capture and storage safety

From careful site selection and operations to regular monitoring, our member companies implement some of the world’s strictest safety measures.

CCS projects around the world

According to the Global CCS Institute’s 2023 report, there are over 40 carbon capture and storage projects in operation, 26 under construction and 325 in development.

*Visuals for illustrative purposes only. Additional facilities not shown.

Click or tap on each hot spot to learn more

CANADA

  • QuestStatus: Operating
  • Alberta Carbon Trunk LineStatus: Operating
  • Boundary DamStatus: Operating
  • Pathways AllianceStatus: Proposed / In design / Under construction

USA

  • Schute CreekStatus: Operating
  • Century PlantStatus: Operating
  • Illinois ICCSStatus: Operating

Brazil

  • PetrobrasStatus: Operating

UK

  • Northern EnduranceStatus: Proposed / In design / Under construction

Norway

  • SleipnerStatus: Operating
  • LongshipStatus: Proposed / In design / Under construction

Netherlands

  • PorthosStatus: Proposed / In design / Under construction

Australia

  • GorgonStatus: Operating
Operating
Proposed / In design / Under construction

Case studies

Quest CCS facility

The Quest CCS facility is part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), of which Pathways member Canadian Natural owns a 70% interest. Quest has a capture capacity of up to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) per year, making it one of the largest CCS projects in the world. The captured CO₂ is transported via pipeline to a facility where it’s injected and permanently stored in a deep aquifer, about two kilometres underground. The facility began operations in 2015.

Where

Alberta


When

2015


CO₂ captured to date

Over 7 million tonnes

Northern Lights project

Northern Lights is the transport and storage part of Norway’s Longship project, which includes capture of CO₂ from industrial facilities in the Oslo region. Northern Lights will ship the captured carbon dioxide to a terminal on the west coast and then transport the liquefied CO₂ by pipeline to an underwater storage location in the North Sea. They’ll also offer the storage to companies across Europe. Phase one of the project, which is scheduled to start operations in 2024, will be the first cross-border, open-source CO₂ transport and storage infrastructure network.

Where

Norway


When

2024


Initial capacity

Up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO₂ per year

Decatur CCS project

The Decatur project is a joint venture between food-processing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and the University of Illinois. Carbon dioxide emissions from ADM’s ethanol production process are captured and transported via pipeline to Mount Simon Sandstone. The CO₂ is injected and stored approximately two kilometres below ground. It’s the first commercial-scale application of CCS technology to ethanol production.

The project received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, and is part of its efforts to advance CCS technology and reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes.

Where

Illinois, U.S.


When

2017


CO₂ captured to date

Approximately 3.5 million tonnes

The Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP)

The NEP is a collaborative project between several leading energy companies. The offshore pipeline network and storage will capture CO₂ from industrial facilities in northeast England, transport it by pipeline to the U.K. North Sea, and permanently store it deep underground in a saline aquifer.


It’s one of several CCS projects undertaken as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the country’s net-zero carbon targets by 2050. Once complete, it will have a capacity of up to 20 million tonnes of CO₂ per year, making it one of the largest CCS facilities in the world.

Where

United Kingdom


When

2026


Project capacity

Up to 20 million tonnes of CO₂ annually