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As of September 30, 2016, the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies program at MIT has closed. The website is being kept online as a reference but will not be updated.

Fort Nelson Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project

Company/Alliance: Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership (PCOR), Spectra Energy, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Location: Spectra Energy's Fort Nelson gas plant, NE British Columbia, Canada

Feedstock: Fort Nelson natural gas processing plant

Size: 2.2 Mt/yr Retrofit

Capture Technology: Amine-based natural gas processing unit. Pre-combustion capture

CO2 Fate: 15Km onshore pipeline to storage in a saline aquifer. Middle Devonian carbonate rock at a depth between 6500-7500 feet

Timing: Characterization (2008-9); Injection and MVA Operations (2014); Start (2018)


The British Columbia government is taking steps to significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of the province and Spectra Energy is working to determine the feasibility of using CCS to reduce its carbon footprint.
Total project cost US $12.5 Million. DOE share $10 Million (80%).


A specific brine formation and injection location had been chosen in 2008. However, subsequent investigations indicated that the cap rock at the site may be fractured. PCOR and Spectra Energy are currently choosing a new site. The sequestration target zone will probably be a Devonian-age carbonate rock formation located in relatively close proximity to the Fort Nelson gas plant (<50 miles). The target formation is the Devonian carbonate formations below the massive and extensive Devonian Fort Simpson shales. Based on the very low permeability and high mechanical strength of the shale, this cap provides a very competent seal for underlying brine formation reservoirs. The Fort Simpson Formation is approximately 500 meters thick and can reach up to 1000 meters thick in some areas. It is laterally extensive covering thousands of square miles. Secondary seals also exist above the Fort Simpson Formation.

Spectra Energy intends to continue injection of sour CO2 over the remaining operational lifetime of the Fort Nelson gas-processing plant, which for several decades will be processing non-conventional gas reserves from the Horn River shale basin. (These compounds are currently being removed at the Fort Nelson gas plant).

This project is one of the 3 which received Phase 3 funding from the DOE in September 2007. The PCOR Partnership’s role in the Fort Nelson CCS Feasibility project will run from 2007 to 2017. The injection site was chosen in 2008, and the drilling for the exploration well and shallow groundwater-monitoring wells was completed in the spring of 2009. Should the technical, regulatory, and commercial feasibility of the project be confirmed, large-scale injection is planned. Spectra Energy intends to continue injection of CO2 over the remaining operational lifetime of the Fort Nelson natural gas processing plant, which is estimated to be more than 25 years.

Project Link: Fort Nelson CCS Feasibility Project presentation [PDF] (May 2011)

Technical Papers:

Sorensen, J A, L S Botnen, S A Smith, C D Gorecki, E N Steadman, J A Harju, Application of Canadian Standards Association guidelines for geologic storage of CO2 toward the development of a monitoring, verification, and accounting plan for a potential CCS project at Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, Energy Procedia Vol 63, pp 5959–5970, (2014). <Link to PDF>

Other Sources and Press Releases:
Fort Nelson Carbon Capture and Storage Project, British Columbia, Canada (April 2016)
Spectra looks to capture CO2 at Fort Nelson plant
(December 2015)
PCOR Project fact sheet (July 2010)
Spectra Energy website
PCOR Partnership website
British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources website