Shell Canada says it recently signed on as a co-sponsor of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas (IEA GHG) Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage project (Weyburn-Midale CO2 project) at the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in Regina, involving itself in the merits of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The Weyburn-Midale CO2 project is one of the world’s three largest in-field carbon storage research projects, and the largest CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project on land.
In its final phase, the $80m international study is investigating the long-term geological storage of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) - used around the world to increase oil production - in mature oil reservoirs. Research from the project is shared with partners on an ongoing basis.

Dave Collyer, President of Shell Canada Limited, commented on the significance of CCS and Shell’s fresh involvement in this area, “Deployment of carbon capture and storage and a wide range of low-carbon technologies will be needed to meet the climate change challenge.”
“Shell’s sponsorship of the Weyburn-Midale CO2 project is in step with the carbon capture and storage work we are doing in other parts of the world with research institutions, regulatory agencies, international organizations and other energy companies.”

Ray Knudsen, Project Director of the Weyburn-Midale CO2 project, added, “What makes the Weyburn-Midale CO2 project a win-win project for Shell and other industry partners is the potential to store a man-made greenhouse gas in a natural hydrocarbon container, while realising the economic benefits of increased oil recovery thanks to the CO2.”

“When CO2 is injected underground in carbon flooding, it helps to thin light to medium oil and move oil that was previously unrecoverable towards production wells. The majority of the CO2 remains underground and the portion that returns to the surface with the produced oil is captured and returned underground in a closed loop system.”

Economically feasible storage of CO2 provides a tactic to mitigate the environmental impact of oil production. The final phase of the Weyburn-Midale CO2 project will build on the data gathered in the first phase to further develop the most scrutinised data set for CO2 geological storage in the world.