Regulators have conditionally approved the first proposal to pump greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta's oilsands deep into the ground.

Shell Canada's Quest carbon capture project calls for permanently storing more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from its Scotford upgrader.

Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board says it is in the public interest for the project just outside Edmonton to go ahead.

The board has imposed 23 conditions before work can begin and the project must still be reviewed by Alberta's Environment Department.

The project is to receive $745 million from the provincial government over 15 years and $120 million in federal funding.

Shell says it must review the economics of the project with its partners, Chevron Canada and Marathon Oil, before deciding whether to proceed this year.