Caroline Gas Complex
Shell brings a long history of operational excellence to central and southern Alberta where its Greater Foothills assets are located. Greater Foothills is comprised of three distinct sour gas complexes: Waterton, Jumping Pound and Caroline that contribute to a combined overall production average of 225 million cubic feet per day (mmcfe/d) of natural gas. Shell is the major owner and operator of the Caroline Complex which includes the gas field, 10 operating wells, two operating compressor stations, a major gas processing plant and a sulphur forming and storage facility.
Location: About 170 km northwest of Calgary near Caroline, Alberta.
Products: Sales gas (methane), natural gas liquids, condensate and sulphur
Sales gas (methane) is shipped by pipeline to markets in Eastern Canada and the United States. It is used primarily for heating and electrical generation.
Natural gas liquids (NGL) include propane, butane and ethane. Propane is sold to domestic and U.S. distributors for heating, crop drying, auto fuel and petrochemical feedstock. Butane is shipped to refineries where it is used as a gasoline blending component and to petrochemical plants for use as a feedstock. Ethane is shipped by pipeline to petrochemical plants where it is used as a "building block" for a variety of chemicals and plastics.
Condensate is a petroleum liquid similar to unrefined gasoline. It is shipped by pipeline to refineries as a feedstock to convert crude oil into various finished petroleum products, or for use as a diluent that thins the heavy crude oil so that it will pump or move through a pipeline.
Sulphur is pipelined 41 km to the Shantz Sulphur Forming facility where it is formed into pellets and transported by rail to Vancouver for shipment to international markets. Sulphur is used to make a wide range of products from fertilizers to fabric to pharmaceuticals. Shell Canada is one of the largest independent marketers of sulphur in the world.
At the time of its discovery in 1986 by a team of Shell geologists and geophysicists, the Caroline field was Alberta’s largest natural gas discovery in 20 years. Its raw natural gas and gas liquids reserves were estimated at 56 billion cubic metres (2.1 trillion cubic feet).
The Shell Caroline Complex began operating in 1993. Constructed over a period of 30 months at a cost of $1 billion, it is the newest, most technologically advanced of Shell’s three sour gas processing facilities in western Canada.
Rocky and Chedderville Exploration – Shell is exploring a liquid rich shale opportunity in the Rocky Mountain House area. The emerging Duvernay play has 17 operating wells and continues to determine development potential. For more information on the Rocky or Chedderville exploration, please contact Marcie Nieman at 403 722-7035.
|Complex admin office:||1-800-565-0165 or (403) 722-7000||(8:00am - 4:30pm)|
|Contact Community Liason Officer for other inquiries:||1-403-722-7049||(Monday to Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm MST)|
|Report an odour or emergency:||Sundre Petroleum Operators Group at 1-800-567-0818 or the Caroline control room emergency number at (403) 722-2100.||-|
Shell’s Caroline natural gas is sour because it contains 37 percent hydrogen sulphide, a potentially dangerous substance, which must be handled with care to prevent harm to people or the environment.
A pipeline from each well forms part of the gathering system, which feeds raw sour gas into the plant to process into useful products. When the sour natural gas first enters the plant through a large vessel called the inlet separator, water, condensate and vapour are separated out. Sour produced water is injected into deep underground disposal wells.
The condensate travels by pipeline to refineries for further processing once all traces of gas have been removed. The remaining natural gas is processed to remove hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. It is then put through a refrigeration and dehydration process to remove any traces of natural gas liquids like propane and butane. The remaining methane or sales gas is sent through the Nova pipeline system to market.
The acid gases are fed into the sulphur plant. Using a patented Shell process, Shell sweetens the sour gas from the field by safely removing 99.8 per cent of the hydrogen sulphide and converting it into pure sulphur. Any remaining traces of hydrogen sulphide are converted to sulphur dioxide in the incinerator.
Liquid sulpur is shipped 41 km through the world’s longest underground liquid sulphur pipeline to Shell’s Shantz sulphur forming facility. There, the liquid sulphur is cooled and formed into small, low-dust pellets for shipment by rail or poured into solid blocks for storage.
All Shell employees are trained in safe work procedures and maintain a high level of safety awareness at all times. No job is more important than ensuring the safety of our neighbours, contractors and employees and protecting the environment.
Shell Canada is committed to continually improving our safety performance to protect the health and safety of our workers. We have policies and programs in place as part of our health, safety and environment (HSE) management system, to support that commitment.
Shell and other companies working in the Caroline area are members of the Sundre Petroleum Operator's Group(SPOG http://www.spog.ab.ca/). Safety and emergency response planning are shared concerns among the many companies that operate in the area.
As a result, Shell cooperates with other local oil and gas companies to coordinate reporting, response and readiness activities in an emergency.
Residents have the SPOG 1-800 number to call for prompt coordinated response in an emergency, regardless of the company involved.
When a phone call comes, a phone fan-out procedure is activated. All companies in the area check their facilities and report back to SPOG until the source of the problem is identified and addressed.
Emergency Response System
In the unlikely event of an emergency, our response procedures are designed to protect the safety of the public living in the vicinity of our facilities. The Caroline Complex maintains a computerized resident database. The database contains a display map showing the location of each dwelling within the Emergency Planning Zone around each sour gas facility.
In the event of an emergency, Shell people can quickly identify the special needs of people living within the planning zones to provide them with timely, appropriate assistance.
To report an emergency at the Complex, please call 1-800-567-0818 (24-hour line).
At Shell, we believe that resource development can coincide with environmental protection when the principles of sustainable development are applied. In support of this, we have five aspirational operating principles that focus on safety and protecting water, air, wildlife and members of the communities where we operate.
For example, Shell supports a wide range of social investment programs in the Foothills region. In 2015, we spent more than $184,000 on community, environmental and educational initiatives.
We also go beyond required government regulations to conserve and reclaim sites and access roads from which we are no longer producing. Shell’s Decommissioning, Abandonment and Reclamation team, or DAR, proactively manages the decommissioning, environmental assessment and remediation of our assets to meet the expectations of our regulators and our community. Sites are restored with native vegetation, trees and shrubs that match the surrounding areas, sustain the land use and truly reduce our footprint. Shell doesn’t just reclaim the site of an abandoned well; we also reclaim the site’s access road to ensure we minimize our footprint.
The Chinook News is the annual newsletter for Central Alberta, featuring Shell stories from the area.