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The Lead  

Shell Canada has announced plans to build another carbon-capture and storage (CCS) facility at its Scotford refinery complex near Edmonton.

The facility would operate alongside the existing Quest CCS project at Scotford, which has captured and stored more than six million tonnes of carbon dioxide since its inception six years ago, the Globe and Mail reports.

Shell has “a pretty aggressive goal with respect to carbon-capture sequestration, which clearly is something that we need for projects or investments or assets that really can’t eliminate emissions on their own,” Susannah Pierce, Shell Canada’s president, said Monday.

The new facility, known as Polaris, would capture 750,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which would be sequestered at an underground reservoir near Josephburg, Alta. The carbon dioxide would be transferred to the reservoir via a 12-km pipeline.

The Canada Energy Regulator found that in 2017, Alberta’s oil and gas sector emitted 137 million tonnes of CO2. Therefore, Quest’s one million tonnes of annual storage accounts “for less than one per cent of the sector’s total emissions,” raising concerns that CCS is inefficient, the Financial Post reports.

The Pembina Institute’s Chris Severson-Baker is optimistic, however.

“If you look at it in the context of the whole industry, this is a small reduction, but it’s pretty significant for an existing facility,” Severson-Baker said. “And the fact that it’s not tied to an expansion of production is important; we need this to be happening across the whole industry.”

Shell says it will capture 25 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2035.

A group of energy companies that include InterContinental Energy, CWP Global, and Mirning Green Energy Limited, has announced plans to build “the world’s biggest renewable-energy hub in Australia’s southwest.” The Western Green Energy Hub would cost US$100 billion, cover 15,000 sq. km, and have a 50-gigawatt capacity. The Guardian has more.

In other news, Greenland said it’s joined the European Raw Materials Alliance, which was formed “to promote mining projects that will help the (European Union) secure supplies of 30 strategic raw materials.”

“Naalakkersuisut gives high priority to the mining industry,” said Naaja H. Nathanielsen, the Greenland’s minister responsible for housing, infrastructure, minerals and gender equality, in a release announcing the move last week. “Developing the industry is desirable, because it helps to diversify Greenland’s economy for the benefit of the people of Greenland.” Nunatsiaq News has the latest.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Interior Department has approved more than 2,100 oil and gas permits since President Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to the Associated Press, despite his campaign promise to curb greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by ending drilling on public land.

“It’s the long game,” said Jim Lyons, who was deputy assistant Interior secretary under Barack Obama and is now an environmental consultant. “You’ve got to appease some of those oil-and-gas-state senators. It means jobs back home for thousands of workers. You can’t just pull the plug overnight.”

On Tuesday morning at 9:38 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US$74.27 and Brent Crude was going for US$75.40.

In Canada  

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) delivered its final verdict in the dispute between Brookfield Infrastructure Partner LP and Inter Pipeline Ltd. and Pembina Pipeline Corp. Brookfield first initiated a hostile takeover of Inter Pipeline Ltd. in February, before Pembina submitted its offer in June. In its ruling, the ASC raised “the percentage of shares that must be tendered to (Brookfield’s) hostile takeover bid” from 50 to 55 per cent.

Moreover, the ASC backed the $350-million break fee that Inter Pipeline would pay Pembina if their bid wasn’t supported by shareholders.

The shareholder vote was also extended to Aug. 6. The Globe and Mail has details.

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne will announce on Tuesday that the federal government is dedicating $40 million to a new “Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator Network.”

The money will come from the Strategic Innovation Fund, which has an $8-billion budget “to help industry decarbonize.”

“The mining sector is critical to the Canadian economy, as it supports well-paying jobs in communities across the country,” Champagne said in a news release and reported by the Financial Post. “Today’s announcement will help bridge the innovation-to-commercialization gap.”

In other news, 54 per cent of Canadians say renewable energy should be prioritized over oil and gas investments, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute. However, 12 per cent believe oil and gas should be favoured, while 34 per cent support both equally, writes CBC News.

Differences between regions were significant, however, with 46 per cent of Albertans giving equal importance to renewables and oil and gas, while 53 per cent of Ontarians and 67 per cent of Quebecers favour renewables only.

Finally, Ottawa officially submitted Canada’s new GHG-reduction target of 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 to the United Nations on Monday. CBC News also has this story.

This post was copy-edited after publication.

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