$10M engineering contract awarded; Field work advances to support regulatory application
CALGARY – Feb. 22, 2023
Engineering and field work is progressing rapidly to support a regulatory application later this year for the Pathways Alliance proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) network. The project is foundational to the net zero ambitions of Canada’s six largest oil sands companies that make up the Alliance.
Pathways Alliance members have awarded a $10 million contract to Wood, a global engineering and consulting company, to develop detailed plans for a 400-kilometre CO₂ transportation line that will eventually link more than 20 oil sands facilities with a hub for permanent carbon storage in the Cold Lake, Alberta region.
“This work to advance one of the world’s largest CCS gathering and storage networks brings us another step closer to achieving our 2030 emissions reduction target and our ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2050 from our production facilities,” says Kendall Dilling, President of Pathways Alliance.
“We have seen significant environmental and subsurface evaluation work on our proposed underground geological storage hub and we’re eager to see the design details of the transportation line as we prepare our application to the Alberta Energy Regulator.”
Wood’s engineering work will focus on the main transportation line that will link the initial 14 oil sands facilities to the storage hub. This includes details such as pipe size, materials, design of monitoring stations and route. Wherever possible the line will follow existing pipeline rights-of-ways.
Information will also help inform overall capital and operations cost estimates of the transportation line. With anticipated co-funding from governments, Pathways Alliance expects that $16.5 billion will be invested in the CCS network.
This project alone is expected to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions by about 10 to 12 million tonnes per year by 2030 from 14 facilities, about half of the Alliance’s 22 million tonne per year goal by the end of the decade.
“The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is imperative for our energy future. The collaboration and innovation fostered by the members of the Pathways Alliance is a prominent response to the world’s growing emissions while maintaining critical energy supply from these important assets,” says John Day, Senior Vice President of Oil and Gas, Americas, at Wood.
“Wood is a recognised leader in carbon capture and carbon dioxide pipelines, and we have been aiding emission reduction projects for decades. Our detailed knowledge of the Canadian oil sands and their producing organisations allows us to make a significant impact on this project which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and further afield.”
Project updates include:
- Extensive work is underway on the CCS environmental program involving 135 experts ranging from aquatic and wildlife biologists to archeologists and paleontologists who have spent more than 1,600 hours in the field working to minimize environmental disturbance. Data will continue to be collected throughout 2023 documenting conditions and variations across seasons.
- Ongoing detailed subsurface evaluation of the geological characteristics and properties of the proposed storage hub.
- Early engagement continues with more than 20 Indigenous communities along the proposed corridor, including a commitment to meaningful engagement throughout the full cycle of the network’s operations.
- Twelve carbon capture feasibility studies involving member companies have been completed on oil sands sites, with engineering work advancing.
- Detailed engineering work on the sequestration hub is well underway.
All this work is required to support the Pathways Alliance regulatory application expected in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Cautionary Statement: Statements of future events or conditions in this press release, including projections, targets, expectations, estimates, and business plans are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as achieve, aspiration, believe, anticipate, intend, propose, plan, goal, seek, project, predict, target, estimate, expect, forecast, vision, strategy, outlook, schedule, future, continue, likely, may, should, will and/or similar references to outcomes in future periods. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, references to the viability, timing and impact of the net zero plan and the development of pathways in support of a net-zero future; support for the pathways from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada; the ability to enable net zero emissions from oil production and preserve economic contribution from the industry; the deployment of technologies to reduce GHG emissions; the ability to create jobs, accelerate development of the clean tech sector, provide benefits for other sectors and help maintain Canadians’ quality of life; and making economic investments to ensure a successful transition to a net zero world and delivering long term value to shareholders. All net-zero references in this announcement apply to emissions from oil sands operations (defined as scope 1 and scope 2 emissions).
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions at the time the statements are made. Actual future results, including expectations and assumptions concerning: demand growth and energy source, supply and mix; amount and timing of emissions reductions; the adoption and impact of new facilities or technologies, including on reductions to GHG emissions; project plans, timing, costs, technical evaluations and capacities, and the ability to effectively execute on these plans and operate assets; that any required support for the pathways from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada will be provided; applicable laws and government policies, including climate change and restrictions in response to COVID-19; production rates, growth and mix; general market conditions; and capital and environmental expenditures, could differ materially depending on a number of factors. These factors include global, regional or local changes in supply and demand for oil, natural gas, and petroleum and petrochemical products and the resulting price, differential and margin impacts; political or regulatory events, including changes in law or government policy and actions in response to COVID-19; the receipt, in a timely manner, of regulatory and third-party approvals including for new technologies; lack of required support from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada; environmental risks inherent in oil and gas exploration and production activities; environmental regulation, including climate change and GHG regulation and changes to such regulation; availability and allocation of capital; availability and performance of third-party service providers; unanticipated technical or operational difficulties; project management and schedules and timely completion of projects; reservoir analysis and performance; unexpected technological developments; the results of research programs and new technologies, and ability to bring new technologies to commercial scale on a cost-competitive basis; operational hazards and risks; general economic conditions, including the occurrence and duration of economic recessions; and other factors referenced by the Pathways member companies’ in their most recent respective annual reports and management’s discussion and analysis, as applicable.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some that are similar to other oil and gas companies and some that are unique to the companies. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by its forward-looking statements and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on them. Neither Pathways Alliance Inc. nor the Pathways member companies undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, except as required by applicable law.
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