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Pathways Alliance files request for carbon storage space 

June 10, 2022

The Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero Alliance has taken the next step in its goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with the submission of a project proposal to the Government of Alberta to secure underground storage rights – known as “pore space”.   

The pore space is required for the Alliance’s proposed carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) project, which would be one of the largest of its kind in the world. 

If approved, the Pathways carbon storage hub, located near Cold Lake, Alberta, could begin safely injecting and storing captured CO2 deep underground in a saline aquifer from a number of oil sands facilities by late 2026. 

“Securing pore space for this unprecedented project is a critical step in providing the investment certainty required to progress the Pathways Alliance plan to help Canada meet its climate goals and ensure our country becomes a preferred global supplier of responsibly produced oil,” said Kendall Dilling, Interim Director of the Pathways Alliance.  

Hub to store enough carbon to help meet 2050 net zero goal 

The proposed Pathways Alliance carbon storage hub would be connected to a transportation line that would initially gather captured CO2 from an anticipated 11 oil sands facilities in the Fort McMurray, Christina Lake and Cold Lake regions.  

The proposal is to grow the collection network to include more than 20 oil sands facilities. The transportation line will parallel existing rights-of-way to the greatest extent possible to limit land disturbance.  

The Pathways Alliance estimates a net reduction of 10 MT of CO2 annually by 2030 via CCUS from oil sands facilities alone with as much as an additional 30 MT per year by 2050. It’s a key part of the Pathways Alliance plan to achieve its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

The transportation line and storage hub will also be available to accommodate other industries in the region interested in capturing and storing CO2. 

Engagement and consultation preparations underway 

The Pathways Alliance model will also ensure minimal land and surface disturbances occur as the transportation line and storage hub are developed and that the pore space is managed as efficiently as possible. 

Preparations are underway for consultation and further engagement with Indigenous groups and stakeholders within the project’s transportation line and storage hub area. Formal project consultation is anticipated to begin in the third quarter of 2022. 

Widespread use of CCUS will be vital to global climate change efforts 

Global organizations such as the International Energy Agency and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have clearly stated that widespread implementation of CCUS must be part of the solution to mitigate climate change.  

Find out more about the Pathways Alliance plan 

Learn about Alberta’s carbon hub plans 

Information on CCUS safety and why it is suited to Alberta  

 

Other resources 

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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 Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative collaboration 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 continued role of fossil fuels as part of a diversified energy mix; and the deployment of technologies to reduce GHG emissions, such as CCUS, process improvements, energy efficiency, fuel switching, electrification, infrastructure corridors and new emissions-reducing technologies. 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 companies’ in their most recent respective annual reports and management’s discussion and analysis, as applicable.

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