Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry brief on clean energy and Canadian-resource politics.
Shell Canada has announced plans to build another carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at its Scotford refinery complex near Edmonton, Alta.
The proposed CCS facility would operate alongside the existing Quest CCS project at Scotford, which has captured and stored more than six million tonnes of carbon dioxide since its inception six years ago, the Globe and Mail reports.
Shell has “a pretty aggressive goal with respect to carbon capture sequestration, which clearly is something that we need for projects or investments or assets that really can’t eliminate emissions on their own,” Susannah Pierce, president of Shell Canada, said in an interview Monday.
The new CCS facility, known as Polaris, would capture 750,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which would be sequestered at an underground reservoir near Josephburg, Alta.. The carbon dioxide would be transferred to the reservoir via a 12-kilometre pipeline.
The Canada Energy Regulator found that in 2017, Alberta’s oil and gas sector emitted 137.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Therefore, Quest’s one million tonnes of annual CO2 storage accounts “for less than one per cent of the sector’s total emissions,” raising concerns that CCS is inefficient, the Financial Post reports.
However, Chris Severson-Baker, the Alberta regional director at the Pembina Institute, was optimistic about the current CCS landscape.
“If you look at it in the context of the whole industry, this is a small reduction, but it’s pretty significant for an existing facility,” Severson-Baker said. “And the fact that it’s not tied to an expansion of production is important — we need this to be happening across the whole industry.”
Shell has committed to capturing 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2035.
A group of energy countries that include InterContinental Energy, CWP Global, and Mirning Green Energy Limited has announced plans to build “the world’s biggest renewable energy hub in Australia’s southwest.” The Western Green Energy Hub (WGEH) would cost US$100 billion, cover a 15,000-square-kilometre area, and have a 50 gigawatt capacity. The Guardian has more details.
In other news, Greenland said it has joined the European Raw Materials Alliance, which was formed “to promote mining projects that will help the (European Union) secure supplies of 30 strategic raw materials.”
“Naalakkersuisut gives high priority to the mining industry,” said Naaja H. Nathanielsen, the new government’s minister responsible for housing, infrastructure, minerals and gender equality, in a release announcing the move last week. “Developing the industry is desirable because it helps to diversify Greenland’s economy for the benefit of the people of Greenland.” Nunatsiaq News has the latest.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Interior Department has approved more than 2,100 oil and gas permits since President Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to the Associated Press. This comes despite Biden’s campaign promise to curb greenhouse gas emissions by ending drilling on public land.
“It’s the long game. … You’ve got to appease some of those oil and gas state senators,” said Jim Lyons, who was deputy assistant Interior secretary under Barack Obama and is now an environmental consultant. “It means jobs back home for thousands of workers. You can’t just pull the plug overnight.”
On Tuesday morning at 9:38 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$74.27 and Brent Crude was going for US$75.40.
The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) delivered its final verdict on the dispute between Brookfield Infrastructure Partner LP and Inter Pipeline Ltd. and Pembina Pipeline Corp. Brookfield first initiated a hostile takeover of Inter Pipeline Ltd. in February, with Pembina submitting its offer in June. In its ruling, the ASC raised “the percentage of shares that must be tendered to (Brookfield’s) hostile takeover bid” from 50 per cent to 55 per cent.
Moreover, the ASC backed the $350-million break fee that Inter Pipeline would pay Pembina if their bid was not supported by shareholders.
The shareholder vote was also extended to Aug. 6. The Globe and Mail has more details.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne will announce on Tuesday that the federal government is dedicating $40 million in funding for a new Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator Network.
The financing will be sourced from the Strategic Innovation Fund, which has an $8 billion budget “to help industry decarbonize.”
“The mining sector is critical to the Canadian economy as it supports well-paying jobs in communities across the country,” Champagne said in a press release obtained by the Financial Post. “Today’s announcement will help bridge the innovation-to-commercialization gap.”
In other news, 54 per cent of Canadians say renewable energy should be prioritized over oil and gas investments, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute. Furthermore, 12 per cent believe that oil and gas should be emphasized, while 34 per cent support both equally, writes CBC News.
“You do see a majority of Canadians really talking about wanting to trend in a direction of alternative energy sources,” said Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute.
However, regional differences were significant, with 46 per cent of Albertans giving oil and gas and renewables equal importance, and 53 per cent of Ontarians and 67 per cent of Quebecers favouring renewables only.
Finally, Ottawa officially submitted Canada’s new greenhouse gas reduction target of 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 to the United Nations on Monday. CBC News also has this story.
Canadian Crude Index was trading at US$59.27 and Western Canadian Select was going for US$60.95 this morning at 9:38 a.m.