A word from the CEO
As global CCS momentum builds, Australia must seize opportunity …
Despite continued opposition from some quarters, global momentum for carbon capture and storage is building.
With the International Energy Agency highlighting that global 2050 climate goals are unattainable without CCS, and a slower than needed roll-out of renewables in most major economies, the emphasis on delivering new CCS projects is increasing.
This is especially in the US where the Inflation Reduction Act 2022 has significantly increased subsidies for CO2 capture. In Britain, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a big expansion of carbon capture and storage, and plans for more oil and gas drilling in the North Sea, as part of his “proportionate and pragmatic” approach to tackling climate change – and still achieving a net zero economy by 2050.
Significant investments are being made by major companies like ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum in the CCUS field, indicating a brighter future for the technology.
But while the international scene for CCUS seems promising, Australia faces political and procedural challenges. If these issues aren’t addressed, investments will shift to more supportive countries, hampering Australia’s decarbonisation progress.
CO2CRC is working with industry and government to facilitate continued supportive policies, and critically support a major approval process review through our regulatory affairs task force.
It was encouraging to see the Australian Government announce a new $65 million program last week to support organisations undertaking CO2 capture projects and CO2 utilisation technologies.
Industry Minister Ed Husic also confirmed that all emissions-reduction technologies including CCS will be considered under the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, if they deliver a “return to the taxpayer”.
Mr Husic said the fund could support the technologies that are needed in the transition to meeting Australia’s emission reduction target of 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050.
He added: “All these ideas have got to be able to stand on their own two feet and go through the independent assessment of the board and deliver a return to the taxpayer.”
Industry would expect nothing less, but to deliver CCS at scale, we need a faster, more efficient approach to regulatory approvals.
The oil and gas industry must play a leading role in getting CCS going, and enabling the development of carbon removal technologies like direct air capture for the hard-to-abate sectors.
Despite some ministerial support, bureaucracy remains a significant hurdle, so we need a strong political and industry drive to streamline the process.
For Australia to maximize the benefits of CCUS, there needs to be a commercial drive, a streamlined approval process, and political, and community support.
CO2CRC is committed to playing our part in all these areas.
Your support for this work is appreciated.
Dr Matthias Raab, CEO.
Otway Stage 4 Project Ramps Up
Otway Stage 4, CO2CRC’s latest demonstration project aimed at testing the accuracy of improved CCS simulations, optimising storage capacity, improving injection efficiency, and investigating the role of subsurface faults in CCS is ramping up with Mitch Alison in charge of Operations at the Otway international Test Centre for the duration of the Project.
“The operating phase of Stage 4 is rapidly approaching with the rig booked to come on site in mid November to start drilling our new 1650m well CRC-8. This new monitoring well at the OITC, is positioned in the plume pathway and will provide an extensive data set as the gas sweeps past, to enable our scientists from Stanford and Melbourne Universities, to make significant advances in modelling the carbon dioxide, as it is stored in a heterogeneous saline formation – as we have at the Otway site. The new well will be equipped with novel technologies, supplied by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology of the Earth in Japan, designed to maximise the carbon dioxide storage potential of suitable saline formations.”
“Drilling this well will be followed by the injection phase of the Stage 4 project we call the shallow fault project, where we are looking at the behavior of a very small amount of carbon dioxide when it comes into contact with a shallow fault. The deep storage of the larger Stage 4 plume won’t take place until mid to late 2024 after we have put some new equipment in our CRC-3 injection well and finished preparing our new monitoring well CRC-8.”
“Working as a Project Manager at CO2CRC certainly provides a range of opportunities that many other workplaces don’t offer. “Mitch Alison explained. “We are continually required to balance being extremely effective with funding from our members and government when drilling wells and preparing other infrastructure for our research with the need to maximize the scientific benefits of every element of a project. It necessitates CO2CRC working very closely with our international science team and our funders.”
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Energy Transition News
24/09/23 Japan will start talks to store its captured carbon dioxide in Malaysia – Japan Times. Economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura is expected to meet with executives of Malaysia’s state-run oil company Petronas at a conference starting Monday in Japan, and sign a memorandum for the project.
22/09/23 U.S. Will Weigh Cost of Carbon Pollution in More Government Decisions – Scientific American. Calculations determining the climate damage of greenhouse gas emissions—called the social cost of carbon—will be considered in federal agencies’ budgets, permitting decisions and, eventually, government purchase.
21/09/23 Denmark: late but bullish CCS bloomer – Bellona. In May 2023, Danish energy company Ørsted signed an agreement with Northern Lights to ship and store 430 000 tonnes of CO2. Illustrating the importance of available storage in stimulating a market and addressing the “chicken and egg problem” so prevalent in the CCS value chain.
21/09/2023 What Sunak’s net-zero pivot means for UK climate goals – AFR. The British Prime Minister says the UK could reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 without having to inconvenience the public. Experts are sceptical.
21/09/2023 Climeworks eyes Kenya project to capture carbon dioxide from air – Reuters. Climeworks is exploring the development of a large-scale direct air capture (DAC) project in Kenya to remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with Great Carbon Valley, the first of its kind in East Africa, the two companies said on Thursday.
21/09/2023 Climate crisis has ‘opened the gates to hell’: UN chief – The Australian. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres overnight on Wednesday told world leaders the climate crisis had “opened the gates to hell” during a summit where leading polluters China and the US were conspicuously absent.
20/09/2023 Efforts to clean up power sector too slow: watchdog – The Australian. Many of the most polluting countries are failing to cut carbon emissions from their energy sectors quickly enough to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a watchdog said on Tuesday. The report comes days after the United Nations said the world was facing catastrophic climate change and was perilously far from meeting goals for slashing carbon pollution.
16/09/2023 UK issues 21 carbon storage licenses – Offshore The North Sea Transition Authority has awarded 21 licenses to 14 companies under Britain’s first carbon storage licensing round.
15/09/23 Australia in a ‘sweet spot’ to benefit from clean energy transition, say researchers – The Age. Australia, close to key markets like Japan and South Korea, is in a “sweet spot” to take advantage of rising demand by supplying low carbon energy and resources while also changing the mix of its exports and decarbonising its own economy, Wood McKenzie said.
14/09/2023 Bowen announces end to ‘remnants of climate wars’ – The Age Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen will permanently cancel the Howard-era Kyoto carbon credits scheme, 25 years after the controversial “carryover” greenhouse gas accounting system was created.
14/09/2023 Carbon capture project back at Texas coal plant after 3-year shutdown – Reuters. The $1 billion carbon capture utilization and storage project Petra Nova that has been shuttered since May 2020 amid plunging oil prices restarted operations last week, its owner JX Nippon said, giving a second chance to a project meant to show the nascent technology is viable at large scale.
13/09/2023 MTR Carbon Capture Is Developing World’s Largest Membrane CCS Plant – Carbon Herald. MTR Carbon Capture has recently started building a large pilot plant at the Integrated Test Centre located in Gillette, Wyoming. This plant is set to become the largest carbon capture facility in the world that uses clean membrane technology and is expected to be fully operational by 2024.
12/09/2023 More gas ‘critical’ for Australia’s energy security while CCS fortifies its net-zero role – Offshore Energy. A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) puts emphasis on the need for new gas supply as potential blackouts loom on the horizon while the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) perceives the opening of bids for the next round of Commonwealth offshore greenhouse gas storage acreage as an important step, furthering the growing momentum to deploy carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology in Australia.
11/09/2023 Labor pushed to create $100b ‘Australian inflation reduction act – AFR. Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act risks cutting the lunch of Australia’s renewables industry, and $100 billion in new government spending is needed to keep the country competitive, according to environmentalists, investors and unions.
11/09/2023 Gov’t to Allow Other Countries Bury Its Carbon in Indonesia – Jakarta Globe. The government is planning to allow other countries bury their carbon in Indonesia through a process popularly known as carbon capture and storage (CCS). Many of the said 15 projects are in the preparatory and study stages. Most will come on stream by 2030. These projects also have the potential to inject around 25 million and 68 million tons of carbon underground in 2030-2035.
04/09/2023 Global Coal Consumption Returns To Record Level – Forbes. There has been a global increase in coal consumption to the second-highest level on record, only 0.01% below the record level set in 2014. Essentially, despite all the world’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, coal consumption is as high as it has ever been.
03/0/2023 CCUS– YTN New. News article on CCUS featuring CO2CRC’s OITC. Best viewed on your phone. NB it’s in Korean!
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