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A word from the CEO

CCS Crucial to Future Gas Strategy

MRaab e1715229245593The release of the Australian Government’s Future Gas Strategy this month marked an important moment in long-term energy policy development in the country. It outlines a medium and long-term strategy within which gas will play a critical role in the transition to net zero by 2050.

The strategy, released by Minister for Resources Madeleine King, highlighted the importance of affordable gas for Australia as the country moves to a more renewable-based grid.

Recognition of the critical future role of gas in achieving the nation’s decarbonisation goals also involved the promotion of geological capture and storage of CO2 to support our region’s transition to net zero. The revised Safeguard Mechanism, a key plank in the Government’s net zero strategy, in effect mandates the use of CCS within future gas developments, with the identified long-term role for gas meaning that there is also a long-term role for CCS.

Australia has the combination of some of the best natural storage geology in the world and an advanced resources industry with very high operational standards. Consequently, the nation is well-placed to reap significant economic benefits from offering carbon storage capacity to our neighbours – most likely as part of an integrated cycle which involves the provision of LNG for export and then storing the emitted CO2 produced by the LNG’s recipients. Critically, the Government also legislated to allow regional cooperation on transboundary CCS, which will provide opportunities for our regional partners within energy security and carbon management.

The release of the Future Gas Strategy was accompanied by an announcement that the Government will invest $566 million in new offshore mapping programs, funding that includes work to identify CCS locations for geological carbon storage. The package also included a new precompetitive geoscience initiative – Resourcing Australia’s Prosperity – to strengthen Australia’s position as a global leader in renewable energy and CCS as the country pursues its pathway towards net zero.

The commitment to maintaining offshore greenhouse gas acreage releases is essential and the release of 10 new areas last year, coupled with the previous release of 5 areas in 2021, is both welcome and necessary.  The identification of the best geological carbon storage acreage requires, as a first step, the release of potentially viable storage acreage which industry can acquire and rapidly and efficiently evaluate.

Australia is uniquely placed to play a leading role in Asia-Pacific decarbonisation. It has the geology, the competency and the capital to deliver CCS at scale and on time to get to net zero within 25 years – provided that the overarching policy and legislative settings are efficient and appropriate. That’s why it is so encouraging to see the Albanese government embrace the role of CCS and to begin to reform of the GHG permitting and approvals process.

Despite casual references to a ‘CCS industry’, the fact is that no such industry exists. CCS is delivered across a range of industries and when stakeholders come together. CCS is a multifaceted and interdisciplinary field. It requires appropriate, targeted collaboration among sectors such as major emitters, governments, academic institutions, geoscience bodies, and technology companies, each contributing specialised expertise to ensure the effective and economic capture, transport, and storage of CO2.

Success in CCS depends on technological innovation, robust and appropriate regulatory frameworks and the financial investments to achieve scalable and sustainable solutions. We must also recognise the role that the government plays in incubating the right environment for many emitting industries to participate in CCS projects and share critical infrastructure.

The future of Australian CCS will depend partly on continued advancements in capture technology and the development of comprehensive policies that incentivise rapid CCS deployment, including the international transfer of CO2 to Australian basin resources.

Additionally, public acceptance and trust in the safety and efficacy of geological storage will be crucial for the widespread adoption of CCS.

Scientific integrity is critical when assessing projects and engagement with all stakeholders is essential to securing community support.

To this end, we have to stop playing politics with CCS.  The public hearings in Darwin of the Senate inquiry into Middle Arm Industrial Precinct were a recent example, as was the Queensland Government’s decision to block the CTSCo project. Granularity in the science by assessing site approvals is critical and must not be compromised by sweeping statements and short-term political tactics. Unchecked this will stop any and all projects from proceeding.

Instead, we must focus the argument on the technical benefits that CCS can, and must deliver, within the wider decarbonisation architecture. A proper risk-based approach, which balances the very low technical risks and uncertainties associated with CCS against the known and increasing dangers posed by climate change, is needed and needed urgently.

Leadership, collaboration and communication are essential in CCS, traits to which CO2CRC is fully committed.

Consequently, we were delighted to receive the Alan Prince Award for the ‘Best Peer-Reviewed Paper’ at the Australian Energy Producers Conference in Perth last week. Our paper, authored by Dr Geoffrey O’Brien, Dr Simone de Morton, and David Bason, outlines a potential future state of GHG storage legislation. The paper, ‘Securing the Australian CCS Project Rollout by Improving Aspects of the GHG Storage Legislation: A Discussion Paper,’ argues that future legislation amendments could result in substantial improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of emission reduction achieved by CCS.

That is a core message of CO2CRC, so it is doubly pleasing to receive recognition from our peers.

We will continue to argue that CCS is a vital component of Australia meeting its emission reduction goals. Regulatory reforms related to CCS have the potential to lower project costs, create jobs, attract investment, and enhance energy security in the Asia Pacific.

Dr Matthias Raab, CEO.

CO2CRC wins 'Best Paper' award at AEP conference

CO2CRC received the hotly contested Alan Prince Award for the ‘Best Peer-Reviewed Paper’ at the Australian Energy Producers Conference in Perth, last week.

The paper focused on the very topical subject of streamlining our regulatory permitting processes and was titled ‘Securing the Australian CCS Project Rollout by Improving Aspects of the GHG Storage Legislation: A Discussion Paper’.

CCS is a vital component of Australia meeting its emission reduction goals. Regulatory reforms related to CCS have the potential to lower project costs, create jobs, attract investment, and enhance energy security in the Asia Pacific.

To achieve this, improvements in the regulatory framework should aim at facilitating a robust and swift CCS project rollout. Key opportunities include emphasising CO2 plume management by assessing risks and eliminating potential impacts, removing artificial constraints on storage potential like permit boundaries, and allowing the rapid exploitation of depleted field as a storage resource.

Additionally, the GHG legislation should incorporate concepts of unitisation and combination in the GHG legislation to allow the addition of blocks around existing production licences for conversion to injection licences.

Lastly, a framework is needed to manage future CCS project interactions on a basin scale, similar to onshore groundwater management.

These improvements, if adopted, have the potential to secure CCS’s place in the nation’s emission reduction strategy.

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CO2CRC’s David Bason, Senior Reservoir Engineer, Dr Geoff O’Brien, Chief Scientist, and Dr Simone De Morton, Techno Regulatory Adviser, with their Alan Prince Award for the ‘Best Peer-Reviewed Paper’ at the AEP Conference, 2024.

CO2CRC submitted four papers to the AEP Conference. Download the ‘Pre-Publication’ version by clicking on the titles below.


‘Securing the Australian CCS Project Rollout by Improving Aspects of the GHG Storage Legislation: A Discussion Paper’
Geoffrey O’Brien, Simone de Morton and David Bason.
CO2CRC, Melbourne, Vic, Australia.

‘Probabilistic CO2 Plume Modelling’
David Tang
CO2CRC, Melbourne, Vic, Australia.

‘Cost-effective and modular CO2 capture to support decarbonisation for oil and gas, industrial and hard-to-abate sectors’
Jai Kant Pandit and Kwong Soon Chan.
CO2CRC, Melbourne, Vic, Australia.

‘Optimising CO2 Storage Resource Utilisation: Insights from the Otway Stage 4 Field Program’
Max Watson, Hadi Nourollah, David Bason, Scott Higgs, Mitch Allison – CO2CRC Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Sally Benson- Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.
Peter Cook – The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
Yong-Chan Park – Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.
Zique Xue – The Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kizugawa, Japan.


Final versions of the papers can be downloaded from the Journal of Australian Energy Producers below.

‘Securing the Australian CCS Project Rollout by Improving Aspects of the GHG Storage Legislation: A Discussion Paper’
‘Probabilistic CO2 Plume Modelling’
‘Cost-effective and modular CO2 capture to support decarbonisation for oil and gas, industrial and hard-to-abate sectors’
‘Optimising CO2 Storage Resource Utilisation: Insights from the Otway Stage 4 Field Program’

And Awarded Second for Best Speaker...

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Dr Max Watson’s excellent presentation on CO2CRC’s Otway Stage 4 Program that focuses on increasing understanding of reservoir heterogeneity was given second place for the Conference’s prestigious Best Speaker Award. Read more about this important collaborative project involving CO2CRC and the Universities of Melbourne, Stanford, and Curtin, as well as, RITE and KIGAM. You can download Max’s paper here.


Saline Aquifer Core inspected for Otway Stage 4 Research Program

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CO2CRC staff took time in Perth last week to view the geological core taken from the new monitoring well, CRC-8, drilled last year at CO2CRC’s Otway International Test Centre at Nirranda South. It was remarkable to compare the geological features in this core alongside the existing core from the nearby CRC-3 injection wells.

“There were some amazing features that have been interpreted within these cores, including a prehistoric shark tooth and a fish scale in one section; the extent of the heterogeneity, which is not evident from the petrophysical logs, was quite remarkable,”, commented CO2CRC Senior Reservoir Engineer, David Bason.

“The CRC-8 core is a key part of our Otway Stage 4 research program, enabling us to assess the role of reservoir heterogeneity on CO2 injection and allow us to develop techniques to optimise CO2 storage” CO2CRC Senior Manager Technology Development, Dr Max Watson explained.

“In June, the CRC-3 injection well will be re-completed, with two new injection zones planned at a depths of approximately 1500 m below the surface. The injection well is already equipped with fibre optics, and equipment will be installed to enable downhole fluid sampling, as well as pressure and temperature gauges in both zones. This workover campaign is the final element of the well infrastructure project that enables us to inject thousands of tonnes of CO2-rich fluid in the Paaratte Formation later this year, and subsequently measure the role of fine-scale heterogeneity on CO2 storage process.”

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 June 5 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.

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 for more information.

Energy Transition News

27/05/2024 Furious Glencore slams Qld knockback of emissions project – AFR Queensland Premier Steven Miles will consider carbon capture storage regulations after mining giant Glencore said the rejection of a CCS plan on environmental grounds called into question the government’s commitment to emission reduction target.

24/05/2024 Japan Passes New Bill to Bolster its CCS Technology and Capacity – Carbon On May 17th, Japan’s House of Councillors passed a new law to bolster the business environment for CCS technology.

24/05/2024 South Korea eyes Australia CCS after future becomes more certain– Energy News Bulletin. Pilot Energy is set to host an Australian government-supported delegation for South Korean companies at its Mid-West Clean Energy.

24/05/2024 WA’s lack of progress on ‘vital’ carbon capture underwhelms minister – WA Today. Progress on carbon capture has been “disappointing” but is vital for the future of gas and industry in Australia, the federal government says.

20/05/2024 Wood Mackenzie: Australia Could Become $600B Carbon Storage Hub-Carbon Herald. Australia has a $600 billion opportunity to become a carbon storage leader in the Asia-Pacific region, according to energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. 

11/05/2024 Biden and oil companies like this climate tech. Many Americans do not.- Washington Post. CO2 pipelines and underground injection can cut greenhouse gas, but community opposition is fierce.

10/05/2024 Iceland’s ‘Mammoth’ raises potential for carbon capture– A Swiss start-up unveiled its second plant in Iceland.

10/05/2024 The world’s wiliest climate warrior? It’s not who you think– AFR International Energy Agency boss Fatih Birol, a lifelong bureaucrat with roots in the oil industry, has made the net zero transition a personal mission.

10/05/2024 Labor locks gas firmly into energy transition– AFR. The Future Gas Strategy reaffirms a strong role for gas, but despite the title it is light on ideas to get there.

08/ 05/2024 Fossil fuel tax needed to power shift to renewable energy: Rod Sims– The Australian . Australia could supply up to 10 per cent of the world’s renewable energy but will need to impose a fossil fuel tax to meet those ambitions, says former ACCC head Rod Sims.

08/05/2024 XPRIZE’s $100-Million Carbon-Removal Contest Selects Finalists– Scientific America A competition to develop carbon-removal technology that is run by XPRIZE and backed by money from Elon Musk has announced 20 finalists.

07/05/2024 Australia’s Woodside, Orica tap startup partners on carbon capture- NikkeiAsia . Leading Australian chemical and energy companies are partnering with startups to advance decarbonization technologies, as the government tightens emissions restrictions in a push toward a greener economy.

06/05/2024 One CCS Project Cancelled, Another One Failing as Industry Navigates Very Bad Week– The Energy Mix Canada’s sputtering CCS industry sustained two serious setbacks in less than 48 hours this week.

06/05/2024 Microsoft signs deal with Swedish partner to remove 3.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-CNBC. Microsoft signed a contract with Swedish energy company Stockholm Exergi to permanently remove 3.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide at its biomass power plant.

03/05/2024 Research quantifies ‘gap’ in carbon removal for first time—shows countries need more awareness, ambition and action – New research suggests that plans to remove CO2 from the atmosphere will not be enough to comply with a 1.5ºC limit.

1/05/2024 Will carbon dioxide storage pollute the Great Artesian Basin? – Cosmos. Article with interviews with CO2CRC’s Dr Matthias Raab.


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