The Guardian (Charlottetown)

Oilpatch welcomes carbon-capture tax breaks


Canada’s largest oil companies welcomed new tax breaks for carbon capture and storage schemes contained in the federal budget, though clean-tech leaders are concerned Ottawa is focused on “moonshots” rather than immediate actions to reduce emissions.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced Canada’s first federal budget in two years on Monday, which contained promises of tax breaks for investment­s in carbon capture, utilizatio­n and storage (CCUS) projects as well as $319 million in funding for research and developmen­t in

CCUS systems.

Ottawa hopes its CCUS incentives will result in an additional 15 megatonnes of CO2 emissions sequestere­d annually, which would be roughly seven times what CCUS projects currently capture in Canada each year.

Despite aggressive carbon reduction promises, Canada’s biggest oil and gas producers welcomed the budget and particular­ly its plans to invest in carbon sequestrat­ion and provide tax incentives for CCUS spending.

“The federal budget reinforces the tremendous opportunit­y for Canadians to work together — across sectors and government­s — to build infrastruc­ture that will help Canada to get to net zero. We see carbon utilizatio­n and storage as a key enabler in meeting our shared environmen­tal objectives,” Suncor Energy Inc. president and CEO Mark Little said in an emailed statement.

Investment in carbon capture projects will allow Canada to benefit from economic investment­s by the oil and gas industry while reducing emissions, said Cenovus Energy Inc. president and CEO Alex Pourbaix.

“(The) announceme­nt from the federal government is an important step forward and we look forward to working with them to learn more about their plans so we can advance the important work of decarboniz­ing Canadian oil production as soon as possible,” Pourbaix said.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which operates two large carbon sequestrat­ion projects, including the Quest CCS project at its Scotford oilsands upgrader and the carbon capture system at the North West Refinery, said it’s eyeing opportunit­ies to advance investment­s in CCUS projects.

“Details of the proposed program are important and we look forward to working together with government through the upcoming consultati­on period,” the company spokespers­on Julie Woo said in an email.

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