Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board has approved the first commercial scale carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) project in Alberta, Shell Canada Limited’s application for the CCS project associated with the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and the Scotford Upgrader, where new facilities are designed to capture up to 1.2 megatonnes of CO2 per year. The cumulative stored volume is anticipated to be greater than 27 Mt of CO2 over the anticipated 25 year life of the Scotford Upgrader.
The prospects for a potentially enormous new shale oil play are being investigated in the Northwest Territories. The Canol shale oil find, stretching from the Fort Good Hope region south to the hamlet of Tulita of the central Mackenzie Valley, is currently estimated to contain between 2 ‐3 bbbl of recoverable oil, putting it in the same league as the Bakken light oil play which underlies parts of North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan. In the past year a total of 13 different leases for parcels of land in the central Mackenzie Valley were awarded for a total of $535 million to major players including: Husky Energy, Imperial Oil, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell.