Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
REGINA – Federal Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson announced on Jan. 25 an intake for “expressions of interest for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects and related science activities focused on carbon storage and transportation”
The Regina-based Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) has been heavily involved with such research for over 20 years. This includes the original research done on the Weyburn and Midale carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery projects that is now concluded, and ongoing work at the Aquistore project, part of SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Unit 3 Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project.
Asked for comment about the federal announcement, PTRC spokesperson Norm Sacuta emailed on Jan. 26, “The call for CCUS RD&D storage research funding was expected, and is the second phase of funding for CCUS. The first phase had its deadline back in October, and was for R&D and demonstration on capture technologies. The University of Regina got past the Letter of Intent phase, and is now pulling together its full proposal to upgrade the CETRI facility on campus. PTRC is a part of that project, and we plan to commit some funds to U of R to get their capture test facility project proposal in.
“This new Letter of Intent (deadline April 17) is more up PTRC’s alley, since it is for storage. We plan to get in at least one, if not two proposals, looking to extend some of our research at Aquistore to examine areas that will be critical for informing the new hub proposals in SK and AB about certain issues.”
Sacuta noted that Aquistore has a great deal to offer the new projects with respect to the challenges associated with deep saline geological storage, as the PTRC has been doing that at Aquistore for eight years to this point.
Aquistore pumps CO2 directly into a deep saline aquifer, three kilometres west of the Boundary Dam Power Station, and 3.4 kilometres deep. Aquistore is heavily instrumented for several forms of scientific monitoring. It has been operating since 2014.
He continued, “There will also be opportunities to team up with some of our partners involved in the hub developments in Saskatchewan and the hubs in Alberta to get funding towards their pilots.”
Sacuta explained there will be a third call for proposals after storage (for utilization) forthcoming after the storage LOI is complete.
“Basically, the federal government is offering RD&D funds for capture, storage/transport, and utilization, in consecutive LOIs,” he said.
Notably, the PTRC, which will host the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Regina May 2-3, has added a “carbon capture, utilization and storage summit” to the program.
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