Alberta’s newest carbon solution balances the global demand for energy while reducing our environmental footprint
The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL) system is the world’s newest integrated, large-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) system. Designed as the backbone infrastructure needed to support a lower carbon economy in Alberta, the ACTL system captures industrial emissions and delivers the CO₂ to mature oil and gas reservoirs for use in enhanced oil recovery and permanent storage. As the world’s largest capacity pipeline for CO₂ from human activity, the ACTL is capable of transporting up to 14.6 million tonnes of CO₂ per year, representing approximately 20% of all current oil sands emissions or equal to the impact of capturing the CO₂ from more than 3 million cars in Alberta. The future of a lower carbon economy relies on key infrastructure like the ACTL system to provide sustainable solutions to global energy requirements.
Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is a multi-staged, integrated process at the heart of the ACTL system that offers meaningful environmental and economic benefits for all Albertans. CCUS represents one of the most promising solutions for combating climate change and is a powerful tool to prevent CO₂ emissions from entering the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is a naturally occurring substance comprised of carbon and oxygen, emitted through normal carbon cycles and human or industrial activities such as fertilizer manufacturing, heavy oil upgrading, refining, electricity generation and petrochemical operations.
CO₂ is captured through separation and purification processes, and then compressed and transported to a site where it can be used in other ways.
CO₂ is injected into carefully selected hydrocarbon reservoirs which have reached the end of their conventional productive life. Previously unrecoverable oil is ‘pushed’ to nearby producing wells by the CO₂ which ultimately extends the life of the field by decades.
Oil that had been contained in hydrocarbon reservoirs for 30 million years is now replaced by CO₂ that would otherwise have been vented to the atmosphere. The CO₂ will be permanently contained due to the specific geological characteristics of the oil reservoir.