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Shell to lead Carbon Capture and Sequestration in oil sands

Shell made FID on $2 billion Quest Athabasca CCS project

Shell, Chevron and Marathon Oil (Marathon) made the final investment decision (FID) for the Quest CO² Capture Sequestration project through their Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture.

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the oil sands exploration and production in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, Shell, Chevron and Marathon decided to develop a solution of the Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) of the carbon dioxide (CO²) released by the project.

In the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, the partners share working interest as following:

 – Shell 60%, is the operator

 – Chevron 20%

 – Marathon 10%

Shell and its partners produce currently 255,000 b/d of oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands Projects by mining extraction combined with upgrader treatment.

Estimated to require $2 billion capital expenditure, the Quest CCS project will be financed by:

 – $745 million from the Alberta Government

 – $120 million from the Canada Government’s Clean Energy Found

 – $1,135 million from the Athabasca Oil Sands Project joint venture.

Harassed by North American campaigns about the “dirty oil” in reference to the oil sands exploration and production in Alberta, the Canadian Government and all the operating companies having working interest in oil sands were since then keen to develop “clean oil” solutions and restore their image.

If the international oil companies has some ideas about the technologies to be developed toward this clean oil, the financing was the block on the road.

Shell had the Quest CCS project ready to go for a couple of year already, but had to find a balanced solution between all parties including Canadian and Alberta Authorities to move it into implementation phase.

Shell to build the first CO² capture and sequestration unit in oil sands

In pioneering this CCS technology in the oil sands application, Alberta expects to:

 – Attract more investors for oil sands exploration and production

 – Improve the oil sands acceptance as an environment compatible source of energy in the perspective of the world fossil energy demand by 2050.

 – Create a world-scale center of expertise in the advanced technologies for clean energy.

Located near by Fort McMurray, Shell Athabasca Oil Sand Project excavates bitumen by mining process.

This bitumen is transported by pipeline to a Shell operated upgrader located in Scotford, near Edmonton, in Alberta, Canada.

This upgrader processes the bitumen to transform it into crude oil acceptable as feedstock by most of the refineries.

If mining is already a carbon intensive operation, the processing in the upgrader increases again the carbon dioxide emission per barrel of crude oil produced, still at crude oil stage before refining.

Shell and its partners Chevron and Marathon are targeting the completion of the Quest CCS project by 2015.

At that time, Quest will capture one million tonnes per year of CO² during the bitumen processing operation in the upgrader.

This quantity of CO² represents the emissions of 175,000 North American cars on the same period.

With this $2 billion capital expenditure, Quest will reduce the emissions of CO² at the upgrader level by 35%.

Fluor won conceptual study,FEED and EPC services contracts for Quest

Shell and its partners Chevron and Marathon selected Fluor to provide engineering, procurement, construction, and construction management services for the:

 –Conceptual study (pre-FEED)

 – Front end engineering and design (FEED) contract

 – Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. 

The CO2 capture facilities at the Scotford upgrader consist of the following:

 – Amine absorption units located in each of the two existing HMUs of the existing upgrader as well as the expansion HMU

 – Common amine regeneration unit

 – CO2 compression unit

 – Dehydration unit

 – Utilities and Offsites tie-ins

 – Modifications on the two existing HMUs and the Expansion 1 HMU

After the CO² capture, Quest project includes the:

 – Transportation from Scotford upgrader site to the north through 80 kilometers underground pipeline 

 – Injection to more than 2,000 meters depth underground in a porous Basal Cambrian Sands (BCS) rock formation located beneath the impermeable rock layers.

 – Permanent sequestration by sophisticated monitoring system

 – Third party assessment by the Det Norsk Veritas (DNV) and a panel of CCS experts to review data on fortnight basis.

Shell designed the CCS Quest project with pre-tested modular structures to reduce work on site by 50%, speed up installation and commissioning, facilitate start up and operations.

With the Quest CCS project, Shell and its partners Chevron and Marathon build the first commercial scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project in the oil sands and expect to consolidate their Market Leadership in clean energy technologies.

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

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