Study: Northeast BC Geology Key to Province’s Carbon Management

Project partners are hosting an online open house about the Northeast BC Geological Carbon Capture and Storage Atlas project on 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Pacfic on February 23, 2023. Register here

Vancouver, BC – January 17, 2023 – More than 66 years of British Columbia’s greenhouse gas emissions could potentially be stored in formations in northeastern BC, according to new research.

The Northeast BC Geological Carbon Capture and Storage Atlas study has identified, assessed, mapped and catalogued carbon dioxide storage potential in northeast British Columbia’s portion of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Geological carbon capture and storage (CCS) can help to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by storing it below the Earth’s surface. Early-stage public, peer-reviewed research includes geoscience data mapped against the locations of First Nation communities, cities and towns, stationary carbon dioxide emitters, existing roads and pipeline infrastructure to inform discussion and decisions about potential carbon capture storage, carbon management and low carbon hydrogen projects.

The first study of its kind in BC, the research was conducted by Canadian Discovery Ltd. as part of a partnership between the BC Hydrogen Office, the Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) and Geoscience BC.

According to the research, there is significant potential for carbon dioxide storage in depleted pools north and northeast of Fort St. John and in the far northeast of BC. There is also significant carbon dioxide storage potential in deep saline aquifers in the Dawson Creek and Fort St. John area, and south of Fort Nelson.

The research identifies that 4,230 megatonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide could potentially be stored in formations in northeastern British Columbia. The Provincial Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions ( reports that BC’s net emissions were 63.5 Mt of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2020.

The study provides an initial assessment of CCS potential in the region. Site-specific capacities and significant additional research and modelling are required to fully understand storage potential.



Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation: “With our clean electricity, abundant natural resources and innovative companies, B.C. can be a world leader in the growing carbon capture and storage sector. We’re already seeing B.C. companies engaged in operations that show how carbon capture and storage is one of the tools to help us meet our CleanBC goals while creating new, high-paying clean-tech jobs throughout the province.”

Mayor Lilia Hansen, Fort St. John: “The Northeast BC Geological Carbon Capture and Storage Atlas is an important tool for communities in northeast British Columbia as we work towards net-zero and consider the new economic opportunities and diversity that it can bring.”

Chief Justin Napoleon, Saulteau First Nations: “Carbon capture and storage could be a new industry in British Columbia on the lands of Treaty 8 First Nations. By informing Indigenous communities and sharing the research at an early stage, we can make more informed decisions about our involvement in this sector and about our future.”

Ged McLean, Executive Director, B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy: “The Northeast BC Geological Carbon Capture and Storage Atlas has assessed that BC shows favourable potential for carbon capture storage. This opportunity complements our growing hub of carbon management technologies that play a key role in accelerating our world towards a net-zero carbon future. By covering both sides of the carbon reduction story, CICE believes B.C. is in a prime position to support Canada’s lead in the global clean energy transition.”

Gavin C. Dirom, President and CEO, Geoscience BC: “Geoscience BC is proud to have been involved in the most comprehensive assessment to date of geological carbon capture and storage opportunities in northeast British Columbia. I am excited to see how industry, government, communities, Indigenous groups and others use this public research in making decisions. Thank you to all the partners involved: it is a great example of the power of public geoscience and research collaboration.”


Accessing information

  • Research now available includes: a final report, PDF and shapefile maps and depleted pool and aquifer data. All can be downloaded from the Geoscience BC website project page. The project area can be viewed Geoscience BC's Earth Science Viewer online mapping application.

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Geoscience BC Membership Program and Project Concepts

Geoscience BC generates independent, public geoscience research and data about British Columbia’s minerals, energy and water resources. This advances knowledge, informs responsible development, encourages investment and stimulates innovation.

Our collaboration with the resource sectors, academia, communities, Indigenous groups and government develops and shares unbiased and credible earth science research and data.

Geoscience BC’s Corporate, Individual, Student and Associate membership program makes it easier for a wide range of partners to provide more input on, and benefit from, Geoscience BC research priorities and project ideas as the transition to a lower carbon economy increases demand for British Columbia’s natural resources.

The Northeast BC Geological Carbon Capture and Storage Atlas is the first of several regional studies planned by Geoscience BC to provide geological information needed to understand carbon management potential in BC. Future Project Concepts can be viewed here:


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For more information, please contact:

Richard Truman

Geoscience BC

604-662-4147 / 778-929-1662