A key priority of Canadian Natural’s operational responsibility is a commitment to environmental excellence. One of the ways we demonstrate this commitment at Horizon is through our partnership with Williams Energy Canada, to capture the off-gas (natural gas liquids and olefins) produced at the upgrader.
This project helps us reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from our operations, for a targeted reduction of approximately 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, and a SO2 reduction of 2,000 tonnes per year, following Horizon’s expansion to 250,000 barrels per day in 2017.
Construction on the Williams Liquids Extraction Plant at Horizon was completed in the fall of 2015 and it began operating in February 2016. The plant captures and further processes the off-gas, extracting the natural gas liquids (NGLs) including propane, butane and condensate, and the olefins propylene, butylene and olefinic condensate, from the off-gas. These NGLs and olefins are transported to the Williams Redwater facility through the Boreal Pipeline. The remaining gas, now cleaner, is sent back to our upgrader to be mixed back in with natural gas, which is then used as fuel. At the end of this process, Canadian Natural has a cleaner burning fuel source and lower overall emissions.
Williams Energy Canada is one of North America’s leading energy companies with a focus on natural gas as a cleaner-burning energy source, making them an ideal partner in our ongoing efforts to enhance Horizon’s environmental performance. There was a great amount of cooperation between both parties on this project, with valuable contributions from both partners. With early consultation taking place with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation, it also demonstrates cooperation between industry and community partners who are committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.