Negative Emissions Technologies with Energy Production: Can Canada’s Oil & Gas Industry Help Reverse Climate Change?
Speaker: Steven Bryant | University of Calgary
December 05, 2019
Crystal Ballroom, Fairmont Palliser | 133 9 Ave SW, Calgary AB
10:30-11:30am: geoLOGIC systems Holiday Social
11:30am luncheon doors open
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Non-member ticket price: $65+gst
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What is the role of the oil and gas industry in a future low-carbon world? Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, framed this question more starkly during the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019. She told a gathering of international oil company CEOs they have the power “to either put a nail in the coffin of global efforts [to mitigate climate change] or be the industry to deliver the solution.”
In this talk I explain how the latter option is a very real possibility. Indeed, the oil and gas industry is uniquely positioned to produce energy for which global markets and infrastructure already exist, while simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere – more CO2, in fact, than is released when consumers use the oil or gas.
Negative Emissions Technologies came center stage in late 2018, as a series of reports from the IPCC, Energy Frontiers Initiative, US National Academies et al. concluded that avoiding emissions, for example by capturing CO2 from flue gas, is essential but no longer sufficient for avoiding catastrophic climate change. Now, and for many decades to come, we must also actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, very few options for negative emissions are currently on the table. Society urgently needs more choices in order to allocate resources to greatest effect. The idea of coupling emerging technologies to capture CO2 from the atmosphere with familiar technologies for injecting and producing fluids in subsurface reservoirs is therefore quite timely. This combination also addresses many of the drawbacks of existing options.
Canada has the resource base and technical expertise to handle the subsurface technology and is home to the leading company that captures CO2 from the atmosphere. The “industry to deliver the solution” can start right here.
As UCalgary’s first Canada Excellence Research Chair, Bryant leads an interdisciplinary research program in materials engineering for unconventional oil reservoirs. With a team of national and international collaborators, he is bringing together advances in fields such as nanotechnology, novel materials and microbiology to re-imagine how society can benefit from hydrocarbon resources with reduced environmental impact. To date this work has yielded more than a dozen inventions and four Startup companies. Previously he held the Bank of America Centennial Professorship in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he directed the Geological CO2 Storage Joint Industry Project and the Nanoparticles for Subsurface Engineering Industrial Affiliates Program. Bryant worked in industry research centers in Europe for a decade before joining academia. He has published 360+ times on applications in production and reservoir engineering and formation evaluation, led major research initiatives involving industry partnerships and trained 140+ graduate students and postdoctoral fellows