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TitleUsing infrastructure optimization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands extraction and processing
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMiddleton, R. S., & Brandt A. R.
Pagination9 pages
Date Published02/2013
PublisherEnvironmental Science & Technology
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCCS, CO2, economics, GHG, model, modeling

The Alberta oil sands are a significant source of oil production and greenhouse gas emissions, and their importance will grow as the region is poised for decades of growth. We present an integrated framework that simultaneously considers economic and engineering decisions for the capture, transport, and storage of oil sands CO2 emissions. The model optimizes CO2 management infrastructure at a variety of carbon prices for the oil sands industry. Our study reveals several key findings. We find that the oil sands industry lends itself well to development of CO2 trunk lines due to geographic coincidence of sources and sinks. This reduces the relative importance of transport costs compared to nonintegrated transport systems. Also, the amount of managed oil sands CO2 emissions, and therefore the CCS infrastructure, is very sensitive to the carbon price; significant capture and storage occurs only above 110$/tonne CO2 in our simulations. Deployment of infrastructure is also sensitive to CO2 capture decisions and technology, particularly the fraction of capturable CO2 from oil sands upgrading and steam generation facilities. The framework will help stakeholders and policy makers understand how CCS infrastructure, including an extensive pipeline system, can be safely and cost-effectively deployed.

Locational Keywords

Alberta oil sands

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