The Aquistore Project has begun injecting carbon dioxide 3.4 km underground in Canada’s first deep saline CO2 storage project. Over the initial injection period of six months, the project expects to inject up to 1000 tns/day for scientific research, and secure, permanent storage.
Aquistore is among a handful of pioneering projects worldwide designed to demonstrate permanent underground storage of CO2 from human activities -- in this case, a portion of the CO2 captured at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project – is a safe, workable solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Managed by the Regina-based Petroleum Technology Research Centre, Aquistore is Saskatchewan’s second flagship CO2 project, following the pioneering IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2Monitoring and Storage Project.
“PTRC is proud to announce the official start of Canada’s first deep saline CO2 storage project right here in Saskatchewan. Five years of hard work has culminated in today’s announcement. Aquistore is building upon the wealth of CO2 expertise in Saskatchewan which started with the Weyburn Midale Project in 2000.” said PTRC CEO Ken From. “The support and investment of our federal and provincial governments and industry partners was integral to launching this world class research project.”
“This first-of its kind project demonstrates Canada’s leadership in advancing clean energy technology,” said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Our Government is pleased to have invested in the Aquistore Project as part of our efforts to protect the environment and reduce emissions while promoting jobs and growth.”
Aquistore is located on SaskPower property, 2.8 km from the Boundary Dam facility near the town of Estevan, Saskatchewan. The majority of the CO2 from the new carbon capture facility at Boundary Dam is transported via pipeline to the Cenovus oilfield in Weyburn under a commercial agreement to supply CO2 to improve oil recovery. A portion of the CO2 will also be directed to Aquistore for scientific research, measurement, and monitoring. Aquistore has the potential to store close to a million tonnes of CO2 per year – an emissions reduction equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off the road.
Aquistore will be injecting into the Deadwood and Winnipeg formations – the two deepest sedimentary units which underlie much of western Canada. To gain access to these formations, Aquistore drilled the two deepest wells in Saskatchewan. The global depth criterion for CO2 storage projects is within the range of 1000-3500 m. Aquistore’s injection zone is located at 3400 m, and is ‘capped’ by numerous layers of impermeable rock formations.
The $45M Aquistore Project was founded in 2009 and includes partners from both research institutions and industry. Aquistore involves a number of Canadian and international researchers and will conclude its scientific work in 2017. Canadian groups include researchers from the Universities of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and St. Francis Xavier. The project also involves academic and research organizations from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Korea.
Over the next two years, this research project will use its extensive suite of monitoring tools and equipment to gather, analyze and interpret emerging data. To date, over 600 guests from around the world have visited the site. With CO2 injection underway, researchers and partners will be focused on this innovative and world-class project.