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A word from the CEO

Carbon Removal

Growing recognition for CCS – and measures to make it happen

Recognition continues to build on the role that carbon capture and storage must play on the road to emissions reduction. There are clearly those who oppose CCS, and others who remain unconvinced of its role, but over the last two months there were happily more steps forward than back.

It was very pleasing to see the Federal Government respond to CO2CRC’s call for concerted action to remove regulatory hurdles to CCS. In the May 9 Budget, the Treasurer announced $12 million would be allocated for a review of the environmental management regime for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities. The review will examine opportunities for regulatory and administrative certainty and efficiency for carbon capture and storage projects.

This was an encouraging response to CO2CRC’s establishment of our regulatory taskforce two months earlier, and our call to the Government to address delays, as long as seven or eight years, in obtaining approvals for significant CCS projects. The outcome of the review of course remains to be seen, but CO2CRC and our members will participate in the review process and push the case for robust and efficient regulation.

It was also pleasing that the Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King highlighted the importance of CCS and CCUS in her speech to the APPEA Conference last month.

Ms King described CCS as “perhaps the single biggest opportunity for emissions reduction in the energy resources sector.”

South Australian Energy and Mining Minister, Tom Koutsantonis, told the conference that carbon capture, including the Santos project in the Cooper Basin, had a potentially vast upside for the Australian economy, describing the technology as “groundbreaking.”

CCS is essential not only to reducing Australia’s emissions, but through collaboration with our energy trading partners we can play a significant regional role.

To that end, it was a pleasure to host an Austrade delegation from Japan and Korea this month at our Otway International Test Centre. The delegation comprised approximately 30 representatives from government, research and private industry who are investigating opportunities for investment in Australia, particularly in companies creating innovative technology for CCUS.

The visit was timely given the recent recommendation by a parliamentary committee that Australia ratify two amendments to the London Protocol, which will better enable CCUS collaborations between Australian business and our neighbours.

In her speech to APPEA, Minister King acknowledged Government has a key role “in supporting industry investment by reducing risk and creating certainty through clear legal and regulatory frameworks and robust policy guidance.”

The regulatory review, along with the planned release of new areas for offshore greenhouse gas storage permits, should position Australia to build on its leadership position in the research and development on carbon capture and storage technologies – work to which CO2CRC is dedicated.

It was extremely gratifying for CO2CRC to be recognised with two significant awards at the APPEA Conference closing session. Our chief scientist Geoff O’Brien and I were humbled to win the Best Extended Abstract, and David Bason won the award for Best Oral Presentation.

So, we have made strong progress in May and June, but many more steps are required as we continue the pathway to genuine and sustainable emissions reduction.

We look forward to working with our members, collaborators and stakeholders as that journey continues.

Dr Matthias Raab, CEO.

Carbon Removal
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CO2CRC’s David Bason, won the award for the ‘Best Oral Presentation’, for his presentation on carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery in Australia

Accolades for CO2CRC

CO2CRC was delighted to win two awards at the recent 2023 Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Conference in Adelaide.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Matthias Raab and Chief Scientist Dr Geoffrey O’Brien won the prize for the best extended abstract for their paper “Australia’s CCUS opportunities to nuance the energy transition”.

David Bason, a Reservoir Engineer at CO2CRC, won the award for the ‘Best Oral Presentation’, for his presentation on carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery in Australia – techno-economic evaluation, carbon dioxide source/sink networks and current policy landscape. This was a significant achievement, as it is awarded to the paper and the presenter that, in the opinion of the judges and the conference delegates, was the best presented technical or business paper at the conference.

Carbon, Capture Utilisation and Storage was a hot topic at the conference with CO2CRC’s booth very much the place to be!

Otway International Test Centre Popular with Victorian Politicians

This Autumn, CO2CRC’s Otway International Test Centre hosted both Roma Britnell, whose South West Coast electorate, due to a recent electoral redistribution now covers the OITC and Melina Bath, Member of the Victorian Legislative Council for the Eastern Victoria Region visiting.

“Roma Britnell had a strong interest in expanding her knowledge of carbon capture and storage.” Dr Matthias Raab CO2CRC Chief Executive Officer said. “Ms Britnell was very interested to understand the role CCS has for the Australian economy, the results of our research, our operations at the OITC and  how our work can have a deep impact in materially reducing emissions in Australia.”

“As a representative of the Greater Gippsland area, Mrs Bath is responsible for an area including Victoria’s CarbonNet project.” Trey Meckel CO2CRC Subsurface Storage Manager explained “Exxon Mobil is also doing preliminary work to investigate the potential of storing carbon dioxide captured from local Gippsland industry in the depleted Bream field off the coast of Gippsland, so CCS is highly relevant to her electorate.  Mrs Bath already had considerable knowledge of carbon capture and storage and was keen to supplement this with visiting our research site.” Dr Meckel added.

“We are always very pleased to host political representatives at our Test Centre.” Dr Raab said “Although our primary objective is to undertake research to assist in the commercial deployment of CCUS, we also aim to assist in the development of a policy environment that adequately supports CCUS as a key emissions reduction technology.”

Roma Matthias wellpad C straightened

Dr Matthias Raab and Roma Britnell at the Otway International Test Centre’s Wellpad C

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CO2CRC‘s Symposium is Australia’s leading Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage event. With a host of local and international expert speakers, this symposium is the ultimate destination to reach a spohisticated niche energy audience and network with leading speakers from industry, government, and research. Contact Justin Thompson today to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

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Energy Transition News

15/06/23 We need to start treating carbon capture and storage the same way as hydrogen. Here’s why – World Economic Forum Renewable energy sources have long been promoted as one of the main means to combat climate change, and many nations have taken steps to increase the share of ‘green power’ in their national energy mixes and electrify their economies.

12/06/23 Carbon capture technology on the rise in India’s energy transition – Ecobusiness. Public sector oil and gas companies in India are actively embracing emission-reduction strategies such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) as India targets net zero by 2070

07/06/23 Exxon’s Plan To Monetize “Carbon Capture” – Barchart Exxon Mobil’s new project, expected to start in 2026, would capture about 800,000 metric tons of carbon a year from producing iron used in steel. The financial benefits of carbon-capture projects increased significantly after Congress announced a 70% subsidy for carbon-capture projects in 2022.

28/05/23 Labor’s mixed signals on carbon capture – AFR Opinion – The gas industry strongly promotes the benefits of carbon capture and storage to reduce emissions, but most of the federal government is lukewarm.

24/05/23 Australia can still meet climate targets if it ‘spends billions more’ – Sydney Morning Herald. Australia is on track to have one of the most diversified and lowest-carbon electricity grids in the world, but new modelling shows more aggressive spending on renewable energy, carbon capture and hydrogen is needed to keep the nation’s 2050 net-zero emissions target alive.

23/05/23 Cheaper method to capture carbon dioxide could shake up industry – Chemistry World Scientists have created a guanidinium sulfate salt that can capture and store carbon dioxide at ambient pressures and temperatures, with little energy input. The strategy could change how industry captures, transports and stores the gas.

21/05/23 Can carbon removal become a trillion-dollar business? – The Economist “ Today we see the birth of a new species,” declared Julio Friedmann, gazing across the bleak landscape. Along with several hundred grandees, the renowned energy technologist had travelled to a remote corner of Texas’s oil patch called Notrees at the end of April at the invitation of 1PointFive, a division of Occidental Petroleum, an American oil firm, and of Carbon Engineering, a Canadian technology startup backed by Bill Gates.

18/05/23 Britain awards 20 offshore carbon storage licences – Reuters Twelve companies were awarded a total of 20 licences to develop carbon dioxide (CO2) storage offshore, in Britain’s first licensing round for such projects, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) said on Thursday.

 17/05/23 Exxon targets 2025 for carbon capture and storage in Bass Strait – AFR ExxonMobil faces several hurdles to its target for starting carbon capture and storage in the Bass Strait as early as 2025, underlining the threat posed by permitting for projects which looms as one of the biggest obstacles globally to a large-scale roll-out.

16/05/23 $250m in scrapped funding sets carbon projects back years – AFR Novalith founder and chief executive Steven Vassiloudis said the Albanese government’s decision to scrap $7 million in funding for its carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) pilot in Western Australia had delayed the project by at least two years.

16/05/23 Why a giant outback carbon reservoir may be key to the future of gas – AFR There’s a lot riding on the Moomba carbon capture and storage project – if Santos can boot it up smoothly, it could unleash a wave of final investment decisions on dozens of projects.


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