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A word from the CEO

First Australian offshore carbon storage formation in 20 years approved

MRaab e1715229245593As the Australian energy debate goes into overdrive after the Federal Opposition’s partial unveiling of its nuclear strategy, the importance of keeping all emissions reduction options on the table is increasingly stark.

While debate focusses on whether the Government’s renewables-centred approach or the Coaltion’s nuclear-plus strategy is the best way ahead, an obvious observation must be made. Both approaches will require a significant contribution from fossil fuels for decades to come.

Doing that in carbon-constrained world means we must deliver CCS at greater pace and greater scale. To that end this month’s declaration of the first offshore carbon storage formation (declaration of storage formation) in 20 years is a significant milestone. Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King’s declaration to enable offshore permanent carbon storage at Pilot Energy’s Mid West Clean Energy Project (MWCEP) – about 120km south of Geraldton off the mid-west coast of Western Australia – is the first such declaration since Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Act was passed in 2006.

Pilot plans to commence the first stage of the project in 2026, with the conversion of the depleted Cliff Head offshore oil field into a permanent carbon storage operation able to store more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 a year. That would place the project among the world’s top 10 ranked by CO2 capture capacity. Minister King’s specific declaration allows a storage capacity of 13.4 million tonnes into the Cliff Head formation.

Importantly, the announcement provides Pilot and potential international partners with greater confidence in Australia’s carbon storage regulatory regime. Those partners include Korean technology giant Samsung, which is seeking approval to take a 20% shareholding in the MWCEP. The project has also benefitted from the Western Australian Government’s changes to legislation last month to provide a clear regulatory regime for onshore CO2 infrastructure at areas of the project covered by state laws. Of course, additional approvals and significant investment will be required before the project becomes a reality, but it is very pleasing to see the results of many years of strategic and technical collaboration with CO2CRC’s commercial arm CO2Tech.

We are the only group that has submitted an offshore subsurface storage proposal to NOPTA, and the Department of Industry, Science and Resources – and had it approved.

We are also the only company in Australia, where CCS is the core business, rather than a side business.

Dr Matthias Raab, CEO.

Stage 4 Operational Phase Completed

Recompletion of CO2CRC’s CRC-3 injection well at its Otway International Test Centre was successfully finalised last week. Now, with the Injection well accessing a different level of the target storage formation and new monitoring equipment installed, all of the infrastructure for Stage 4 of CO2CRCs research is in place.  

During the height of operations at Site there were 40 crew members on-site across 13 service companies. Success of the project means that the operations were completed without any injuries, which is the top priority for CO2CRC. Secondly, all objectives were achieved so that the setup is fit for the purpose for the experiments we will carry out over the next few years. Thirdly, our team delivered the new program with all contractors ahead of budget. Now CO2CRC is in a position where we can shift our focus to an upcoming and exciting science program with several top-notch projects and great people and minds from our research partners and CO2CRC involved.

CO2CRC CEO Dr Matthias Raab explained “To reach this point, CO2CRC has had to drill deep and shallow wells at the Otway International Test Centre, instrument several wells with novel monitoring technologies, and run several tests with our national and international partners. Looking further back, the initial scope for the shallow fault experiment was developed in 2015, exactly nine years ago. The GeoCquest Field Validation project, for which we will commence the storage component later this year, goes back to 2016. Large scientific projects take a lot of time to develop, many experts to involve, and years of perseverance to obtain the not inconsiderable funding required.”

“Congratulations are due to the Team at CO2CRC and our research partners for their intellectual rigor, technical skills and tenacity to prepare the groundwork for the scientific work to come.  We look forward with excitement to the research outcomes and the impact that they will have on the application of Commercial Carbon Capture and Storage globally. “ CEO Dr Raab said.

Completing CRC 3
SLB and Wild Desert contractors running cables down the outside of the tubing at The Otway International Test Centres Stage 4 injection well CRC-3.

Advancements in CO2 Storage at Otway International Test Centre


Discover groundbreaking research at the Otway International Test Centre, where extensive tests on CO2 storage in saline aquifers have shown promising results. Key innovations include novel methods for plume immobilization and advanced monitoring techniques such as pressure tomography and continuous seismic monitoring.

These developments are crucial for scaling up Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to meet global emission targets and achieve net-zero emissions. Learn how these advancements can make CCS safer, more efficient, and economically viable, paving the way for a sustainable future.

A special commendation to Charles Jenkins from CSIRO and all co-authors for their decade-long dedication to this research. Their relentless efforts in both the labs and the field have been instrumental in achieving these significant advancements in CCS technology.

Read the full report here.


Curtin Geophysics Team receives Excellence Award

BPP6787 scaled

CO2CRC has been working with Curtin University’ geophysics department for almost 20 years. The Team has provided seismic monitoring knowhow at its Otway International Test Centre both to design monitoring programs and systems and operationally to monitor its carbon dioxide stored during its various research projects.

This week Curtin’s Geological Carbon Storage Seismic Monitoring Team has been awarded the 2023 Research Team Award for Industry Engagement and Impact by Curtin University.

The Award was presented that the 2023 Science and Engineering Pro Vice-Chancellor Staff Excellence Awards Ceremony on Wednesday June 26. Well done to Dr Roman Pevzner and Dr Konstantin Tertyshnikov and their team!

Otway Shallow Fault Experiment

CO2CRC completed its Shallow Fault experiment in April.

This was designed obtain more information about the impact of storage formations that have a large variety of rock types and arrangements; or heterogeneity, as this is common in the subsurface.

In April,16.5 tonnes of gaseous carbon dioxide was injected at less than 100 metres below the surface close to a shallow fault at CO2CRC’s Otway International Test Centre.

A new animation has been developed to explain the process used and potential movement of the stored gas.

Follow CO2CRC today on LINKEDIN to keep up to date with the latest news on our ground-breaking demonstration and research projects.

CCUS fundamentals

CO2CRC Training and Education

At CO2CRC, we believe that effective CCUS education and training is a vital element in shaping a sustainable, low-emission future. As such, we are dedicated to equipping a wide array of stakeholders, including industry experts, policymakers, investors, scientists, and the general public, with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve their emission reduction targets. CO2CRC provides a range of general CCUS educational courses as well as technology specific and tailored CCUS training.  Upcoming courses over the next few months include: Contact  Max Watson for more information.

CCUS Fundamentals Course Wednesday August 7 2024 Delivered Virtually

Enjoy the convenience of CO2CRC’s industry leading full day CCUS Fundamentals course delivered directly to your office or training room. CO2CRC’s Fundamentals Course provides targeted knowledge exchange on all things CCUS to upskill yourself or your team in CCUS. MORE INFORMATION

Contact  Max Watson for more information.

CCUS Principles Practices and Applications 20-22 August 2024 Delivered Virtually

For a deeper dive into the emerging industry of CCUS, join us for our comprehensive training course, “CCUS Principles, Practices, and Applications.” Developed by CO2CRC, Australia’s leading research organisation in CCUS, this course is designed to equip participants with a relevant, practical understanding of the technical principles and engineering solutions applicable to CCUS. Contact  Max Watson or read more information.

Energy Transition News

24/062024 Pilot Energy: From depleted oil well to carbon storage – now that’s innovation! – 2GB Sydney. Listen to ASX-listed Pilot Energy Executive Chairman talk about Pilot’s remarkable plan… 24/06/2024 Sir Andrew Mackenzie: time to focus on the best few climate solutions – AFR. Shell chairman Sir Andrew Mackenzie says tackling climate change is harder than he realised… 24/06/2024 Atom-thin graphene membranes make carbon capture more efficient – techxplore, Scientists at EPFL have developed advanced atom-thin graphene membranes with pyridinic-nitrogen at pore edges, showing unprecedented performance in CO2 capture. 24/06/2024  Heavy lift required to solve cement’s carbon conundrum – Reuters.  Alternative materials and additives, new formulas and reuse models hold promise… 24/06/2024 Linde, Heidelberg Materials Break Ground On German Carbon Capture Facility For Cement Industry– Carbon Herald Work starts on carbon capture and liquefaction plant at the Lengfurt cement plant in Bavaria, Germany. 23/06/2024 Carbon-capture projects launch in Los Angeles County as CO₂ levels reach global records – Los Angeles Times Multiple projects seeking to remove carbon dioxide from the air… 22/06/2024 Carbon dioxide utilization in propylene carbonate production process– Nature. Paper looks at the simulation of the propylene carbonate production process… 22/06/2024 Enerflex and BASF to collaborate in carbon capture, utilization and storage applications – ChemEurope New MoU to facilitate the commercial scale deployment of CCUS applications. 22/06/2024 NOD offers licenses for North Sea CCS – Oil and Gas Journal. Four exploration licenses offered to six companies for CCS in the North Sea.  
21/06/2024 Equinor secures first CCS exploration permit in Denmark – Power Technology The Norwegian company will partner with Ørsted and Nordsøfonden. 19/06/2024 Major trading partners watching Australia’s carbon capture debate, says LETA boss Mark McCallum – The Australian. Major trading partners expect Australia to invest in carbon capture schemes… 16/06/2024 80 More Years of Oil: The Big Attraction of Carbon Capture- Oilprice. CCS could potential extend the lifespan of oilfields by many decades and its getting government subsidies. 15/06/2024 SLB, Aker Carbon Capture finalize carbon capture joint venture – Offshore The JV will offer wider adoption of new carbon capture technologies for hard-to-abate industrial sectors. 13/06/2024  New Partnership Aims To Bring Carbon Capture To Wood-Processing Mill– Forbes. The Finnish forestry business Metsä Group has teamed up with technology specialists Andritz to investigate the possibility of building a carbon capture facility at the largest wood-processing mill in the northern hemisphere. 12/06/2024  Power policy war a multibillion-dollar threat, say energy bosses– The Australian Senior business leaders have called for energy policy stability in the face of Peter Dutton’s threat to tear up Australia’s binding 2030 carbon emissions targets… 04/06/2024 ExxonMobil, BP drive Indonesia’s growth into carbon capture hub – Nikkei Asia. Country’s massive storage capacity draws big projects from oil majors. 03/06/2024  Denmark: PGS starts 2D regional rejuvenation for Denmark CCS storage screening– Energy-pedia. A new PGS reprocessing project for Denmark will provide a regional screening product for carbon storage sites in Norwegian-Danish Basin aquifers.


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