This week, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, and Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, announced a total of $5.2 million in new funding for the International Energy Agency (IEA) Greenhouse Gas Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project.
The Government of Canada's portion of the investment is $2.2 million, which brings its total contribution to $15.2 million in the project to date. The investment, announced during the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Washington, will support additional CO2 storage research in the final phase of the project. The research being carried out will improve the knowledge of measurement, monitoring and verification of CO2 storage in depleted oil reservoirs and also aims to demonstrate that CO2 can be stored safely, minimizing the possibility of leakage.
The IEA's Greenhouse Gas Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project is taking place in conjunction with one of the largest, fully integrated carbon capture and storage operations in the world. The CO2 is provided by the Dakota Gasification Company's coal gasification facility in Beulah, North Dakota, and is pipelined 320 km to Cenovus Energy's Weyburn and Apache Canada's Midale oil fields in southeastern Saskatchewan.
Created by the Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan, Cenovus (formerly Pan Canadian Petroleum and later EnCana) and the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in Regina, the project is the world's first and largest monitoring site for geological storage of CO2. To date, a record 18 million tonnes of CO2 have been stored in the Weyburn and Midale oil fields in Saskatchewan.
The final phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2011 and will conclude the creation of a best practices manual to guide all aspects of CO2 geological storage projects in depleted oil fields worldwide.
This carbon capture and storage investment at Weyburn-Midale is a practical application of the Canada-U.S. Clean Energy Dialogue announced in February 2009 by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper, which aims to enhance joint collaboration on the development of clean energy technologies and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Of the project and the latest investments, Minister Paradis declared: "These investments by our government and the U.S. demonstrate our leadership and expertise in carbon capture and storage technology [...] this collaborative, world-renowned carbon capture and storage project is reducing greenhouse gas emissions while demonstrating clean energy innovation."
Of the cooperation between Canada and the U.S. on the project, Energy Secretary Steven Chu commented "This project is an example of what we can accomplish when we leverage the technical expertise in both countries to deploy clean energy technologies [...] working together, we have not only reduced carbon pollution, we have demonstrated that carbon capture and storage technology can play an important role in a clean energy future."