A report released today at the international Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference in Vancouver concludes that geological conditions in the Weyburn oil field in western Canada are favourable for long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). The four-year, multidisciplinary study was conducted by the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in Regina under the auspices of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas (IEA GHG) Research and Development Programme.
The PTRC worked on the study in close collaboration with EnCana Corporation of Calgary, Alberta, which operates the 50-year-old Weyburn field in southeastern Saskatchewan. "The Weyburn project was the first large-scale study ever conducted in the world of the geological storage of CO2 in a partially depleted oil field," explained Mike Monea, Executive Director of the PTRC. "While there are numerous large commercial CO2-enhanced oil-recovery operations globally, there are none that have undertaken the depth and extent of research that we have."
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is one of the 15 public- and private-sector institutions that funded the study. "I am pleased with the results of this project, and with the enormous potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels through capturing and storing CO2," said the Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "The leading-edge technology demonstrated here is key to the Government of Canada’s approach to addressing climate change."
"Although we’re very excited with these conclusions, we believe there’s much more work to be done to determine how our techniques and systems can be applied from the Weyburn geological formation to other formations around the world, to make CO2 storage a real option for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions worldwide," Wilson said.
The Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference, where the report was released, is the first international gathering of its kind ever held in Canada, drawing expert academics, scientists and policy-makers from around the world. The previous conference was held in Kyoto, Japan, in 2002.
The Government of Canada’s approach to climate change is focused on making the right choices for Canada. This will ensure that the actions taken contribute to the long-term goals of building a sustainable economy for the 21st century, a healthier environment and strong communities, while affirming Canada’s place in the world.
The Government of Canada contributed $6 million to this study. Funding for the initiative was provided for in the existing fiscal framework.
The Government of Saskatchewan contributed approximately $2.2 million to the project through the Saskatchewan Petroleum Research Incentive.
Joe Ralko | EurekAlert!
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