Husky Energy investing in carbon capture pilot plant at Sask. heavy oil

Husky Energy investing in carbon capture pilot plant at Sask. heavy oil

ALEX MACPHERSON, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX  07.13.2017

 Husky edam east steam operations

Steam operations have started at the Edam East project near Lloydminster, the first of three new heavy-oil thermal projects in the province.

 

Husky Energy Inc. is increasing its investment in carbon capture and storage technology, which it hopes will make its expanding heavy oil operations in Saskatchewan more environmentally friendly.

The Calgary-based company has been operating a tiny CCS plant developed by Inventys Inc., a clean energy company headquartered in Burnaby, B.C., at its Pikes Peak South operation northwest of Maidstone for six months. Earlier this month, it invested millions of dollars in the B.C. company with the aim of developing a much larger plant at the site.

“We are moving ahead with a 30 tonnes per day pilot project. … We believe this technology has the potential to reduce the cost of carbon capture, compared to existing technologies, and could turn Lloyd thermal production into a lower carbon source of energy,” and Alberta more environmentally-friendly, Husky spokeswoman Kim Guttormson said in an email.

Carbon dioxide captured by the new project will be used alongside carbon dioxide recovered from other facilities for “enhanced oil recovery” operations in the region, Guttormson said. The process makes other types of oil wells more efficient, she added.

The new plant at Pikes Peak South is expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2018. Inventys CEO Claude Letourneau said it will have the footprint of two flatbed trailers, cost about $20 million and use the company’s second-generation CCS technology, which improves efficiency by absorbing the carbon dioxide into a solvent rather than a solid.

The increased efficiency, Letourneau continued, is expected to lead to significant cost savings. The capital cost of existing CCS technology is between $60 and $90 per tonne, but Inventys is aiming to cut that to about $30 per tonne — which the oil industry requires before it can start adopting CCS on a wide scale.

Last December, Husky’s board of directors approved three new $350 million steam-assisted heavy oil plants in Saskatchewan. The company, which has boosted its reliance on the facilities to 40 per cent from about eight per cent of total production, has many more projects “in the wings,” according to its former CEO.

That represents a major opportunity not just for Inventys — which wants to build 10 plants capable of capturing between 200 and 600 tonnes per day for Husky — but for an entire industry that is “looking for a solution,” Letourneau said. Husky’s investment, he continued, is a “clear sign” that energy companies are getting serious about addressing carbon capture.

Guttormson would not say how much the company has or is planning to invest in CCS technology, but Letourneau said its commitment is around 80 per cent of the $10 million it raised to support the pilot project in Saskatchewan.

 

 

 

About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on July 14, 2017, in economic impact, oil, other minerals, political. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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