Royal Dutch Shell has approved a first-of-its kind carbon capture and sequestatoin (CCS) project that will cut emissions from its tar sands business.
Shell says the technology will lower emissions by a third at its tar sands operation in Alberta, Canada, which processes 255,000 barrels of oil a day.
It plans to capture over 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year and inject it 1.2 miles underground. That’s about a third of the emissions produced.
"We are helping to advance CCS technology on a number of fronts around the world, but Quest will be our flagship project," says Peter Voser, Shell CEO.
The governments of Alberta and Canada are contributing C$865 million of the C$1.35 billion ($1.36 billion) project in exchange for Shell sharing data and intellectual property from Quest, reports Reuters.
CSS is viewed by the government as a potentially important technology to help Canada lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The project is being criticized by groups like Greenpeace Canada, which would prefer such substantial funds to be spent on efficiency and renewables instead:
"We’d rather see this going towards promoting cars that use less gas, cost consumers less money, or a source of power like wind or solar … The kind of things that are worthy of public support and would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Climate and Energy Campaign Coordinator told Reuters.