On September 5, 2012, Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) announced it would be moving forward with the Quest carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) project in the oil sands near northern Alberta, Canada (“Quest Project”).  The Quest Project will be the world’s first commercial-scale CCS project in the Canadian oil sands.  Shell will hold majority ownership in the Quest Project and will serve as the designer, builder, and operator of the CCS facility.

The Quest Project will pipe CO2 emissions released from the Shell Scotford Upgrader facility located northeast of Edmonton, Alberta into underground storage.  The CO2 emissions are created when bitumen from the Athabasca Oil Sands is processed into synthetic grade crude at the Scotford Upgrader.  The Athabasca Oil Sands Project has the capacity to mine and upgrade 255,000 barrels of bitumen a day.  Shell stated in its announcement that the Quest Project is expected to reduce as much as 35% of the CO2 emissions from the Scotford Upgrader.

The Athabasca Oil Sands Project is a joint venture among Shell Energy Canada, Chevron Canada Limited, and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation.  The CCS facility is expected to be operational in 2015.

A copy of Shell’s press release is available here.