Calgary, Alberta -- Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has issued Decision 2012 ABERCB 008, which includes conditions, for Shell Canada Limited's application for a carbon capture and storage project north of Edmonton.
The hearing panel determined it is in the public interest to proceed with the project, noting the proposed reservoir is a suitable location for the long-term storage of carbon dioxide and the combination of geological conditions, engineering design, operational practices, and extensive monitoring program mitigate any potential risks the project might pose.
The ERCB applied 23 conditions on its approval of the project, primarily regarding additional data collection, analysis, and reporting. Shell must also obtain separate approvals for any additions to the project.
The ERCB held a hearing in Redwater from March 6-9, 2012, to consider the applications and any concerns from interveners. ERCB hearings are formal, quasi-judicial proceedings during which evidence is given, and cross-examination and argument takes place.
Prior to issuing its final approval, the ERCB is required to refer the application to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for review. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development may impose additional conditions with respect to the environment, which will be added to the ERCB's approval.
ERCB hearings are formal, quasi-judicial proceedings to ensure decisions are fair, responsible, and in the public interest. In assessing the public interest, the ERCB has regard for public safety, environmental stewardship, and resource conservation.
Shell said it welcomed the approval, however the company and its partners in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project are still completing studies on the feasibility of the project and do not expect to make a decision on whether to proceed until later this year, according to press reports.