Alberta's Leadership in Decarbonization

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Bennett Jones LLPWorld's Largest Capacity CO2 Pipeline Operational

The Success

On June 2, 2020, the $1.2 billion Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL) became operational. The ACTL is part of an integrated system designed to capture and store CO2 emissions, and further the development of a lower carbon economy in Alberta.

What It Means

The ACTL provides increased capacity for transporting CO2 emissions for storage and is expected to serve as an example for similar projects in the future given the increased focus on addressing CO2 emissions across all sectors of the economy.

The ACTL

This 240 km pipeline will transport liquefied CO2 from Alberta's industrial heartland area northeast of Edmonton, to an area near Red Deer in central Alberta. Enhance Energy will then sequester the CO2 in depleted oil reservoirs, storing the CO2 and enabling additional oil recovery from the reservoir. The ACTL, which is owned and operated by Wolf Midstream, has the capacity to transport 14.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year and is currently the largest pipeline of its kind in the world. The North West Redwater refinery and the Nutrien Redwater Fertilizer facility, are the first to use the pipeline, transporting up to 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The ability to capture and sequester CO2 is a fundamental component of the North West Redwater refinery, allowing it to be one of the lowest CO2 emissions refineries in the world. The ACTL's additional capacity will allow more producers and reservoirs to be added in the future.

This is not the first carbon capture and storage facility in Alberta. The first was Shell Canada's Energy Quest at the Scotford Upgrader, also located near Edmonton which commenced operations in 2015. In 2019, Shell announced that the project captured and stored four million tonnes of carbon dioxide ahead of schedule and at a lower cost than anticipated.

The path to ACTL becoming fully operational has been a long one, with the project originally conceived by Enhance Energy in 2009. Despite initial funding by the federal government and the province of Alberta, the ACTL was not fully financed until 2018, with construction commencing shortly thereafter. Additional projects linking the ACTL to the oilsands near Fort McMurray are now being considered.

Bennett Jones on the Deal

Bennett Jones acted for North West Redwater in its contributions to the ACTL providing advice on commercial and financing matters. Bennett Jones also acted for Shell Canada on its Energy Quest project.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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