Northwest Redwater (NWR) and Nutrien are supply partners for the ACTL Project able to provide 4,400 tonnes per day of high purity CO₂. Pure CO₂ is generated through the various industrial processes, including steam methane reforming and gasification. The CO₂ is captured, separated and compressed in preparation for transportation through the ACTL pipeline.
The NWR Refinery is the first standalone refinery to be built in Alberta in 30 years, and has only completed the first of three planned phases. Once at full scale, NWR has the potential to triple its current CO₂ capture. Through a unique bitumen processing solution, NWR can produce ultra low sulphur fuels while making up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO₂ available annually for the ACTL Capture facilities.
Nutrien is the owner / operator of the Redwater Fertilizer facility which has been in operation for over 40 years. Nutrien is the world’s largest crop nutrient company and generates up to 800 tonnes of CO₂ daily or 0.3 million tonnes of CO₂ annually for the ACTL Capture facilities.
The ACTL – or Alberta Carbon Trunk Line – is a 240 kilometre pipeline that will transport CO₂ to aging oil reservoirs throughout central and southern Alberta for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects and secure permanent storage. Wolf Carbon Solutions (Wolf), an affiliate of Wolf Midstream, will construct, own and operate the CO₂ capture and pipeline transportation assets.
The pipeline itself is a major engineering project constructed using strict environmental controls, comprised of 16” externally coated pipe and situated safely underground for the majority of its length.
Captured CO₂ will be utilized by Enhance Energy and injected into depleted oil reservoirs for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), kick-starting an innovative new industry of converting a waste product of the oil sands and other industries into a valuable by-product. Enhance is the owner and operator of the Clive field in Alberta where the first EOR project will be implemented, where an additional 15-20% of the original oil in place in the reservoir is expected to be recovered.
The process of enhanced oil recovery using CO₂ is not new: industry has nearly 50 years of experience with injected CO₂ for enhanced oil recovery in the continental U.S. The CO2 is injected into a carefully selected hydrocarbon reservoir, which results in oil being flushed from the pore spaces in the reservoir rock and ‘pushed’ to the production wells where it is pumped to the surface and recovered.
Depleted oil and gas reservoirs are secure storage spaces for CO₂. Each storage site is studied and monitored to ensure there is no possibility of leakage. Over time, the injected CO₂ will dissolve in water contained in the rock formation and a portion will combine chemically with the rocks trapping the CO₂ even more securely. The CO₂ at Clive is stored approximately 2 kilometres below the earth’s surface, where reservoirs previously held oil and gas for tens of millions of years. This is well below fresh water aquifers and drinking water sources, resulting in no chance of contamination. Storing CO₂ in depleted reservoirs has been proven to be safe. The Weyburn-Midale CO₂ Project in Saskatchewan has safely injected over 16 million tonnes of CO₂ to date. The US EOR industry has safely injected over 600 million tonnes of CO₂.