By Nigel Bankes, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary
Decision commented on: Shell Canada Limited, Application for the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage Project, Radway Field, July 10, 2012, 2012 AERCB 008
In a long-awaited decision issued on July 10, 2012, Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB or Board) approved Shell Canada Limited’s application for a commercial scale CCS project (the Quest Project). The project is associated with the long standing Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) and the Scotford Upgrader where new facilities are designed to capture up to 1.2 megatonnes of CO2 per year for ongoing injection. The cumulative stored volume is expected to be greater than 27 Mt of CO2 over the expected 25 year life of the Scotford Upgrader. The approval is subject to some 23 conditions and, as contemplated by the scheme approval provision of section 39(2) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act, RSA 2000, c O- 6 (OGCA), the project will only be finally approved by the ERCB following review by the Minister of the Environment who may impose additional conditions on the scheme approval.