CO2CRC is Australia’s leading carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) research organisation
CO2CRC INSIGHTS | August 2020
  • Research: NERA and CO2CRC announce industry-led project to reduce emissions and unlock Australia’s energy potential through long-term CCUS solution

  • News: CO2CRC welcomes bipartisan support for Carbon Capture and Storage  

  • Investment: Santos evaluates carbon capture for inclusion in Cooper Basin hydrogen plans 

  • News: Global CCS Institute adds ten new projects to global database 

  • Investment: Australia’s CCU potential highlighted 

  • Investment: Equinor announces major hydrogen-CCS project in Humber region of UK

  • Policy: Scotland’s ‘golden opportunity’ – Sturgeon’s adviser urges move into carbon capture 

  • Research: Singapore is planning to research and develop CCUS technology to reduce the climate impact of some its most carbon-intensive industries.

  • Research: Monash and CSIRO set record for carbon capture  

  • Policy: US Treasury Proposes New CCS Tax Rules 

  • News: CCS Talks: The CarbonNet Project – A hub for climate change action and economic growth

  • FEATURE: Gippsland Monitoring Network – Highlighted outcomes of Seismology Monitoring Network 
Research: NERA and CO2CRC announce industry-led project to reduce emissions and unlock Australia’s energy potential through long-term CCUS solution

NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) and CO2CRC have announced a new landmark study into CCUS to assist the nation’s energy resources sector reduce CO₂ emissions while securing Australia’s energy future.

The study is being undertaken in two phases. The first phase, led by CO2CRC in collaboration with Geosciences Australia and supported by COAL21, will rank Australian oil and gas basins for the potential use of CO₂ Enhanced Oil Recovery (CO₂-EOR). The second phase of the project will provide insight to industry and government on potential opportunities for CO₂-EOR at the field level in Australian onshore basins.

Miranda Taylor, NERA CEO said “NERA is pleased to support this vital study as it will promote cross-sector collaboration and knowledge transfer, supporting the competitiveness of the Australian oil and gas industry while helping Australia meets its international commitments and create a pathway for ongoing emissions reductions beyond 2030.” 

CO2CRC CEO David Byers said the funding and networking support from NERA will assist Australia’s energy resources sectors in making decisions on the potential opportunities for enhanced oil recovery in Australia.

“CO₂-EOR has the potential to significantly reduce CO₂ emissions while improving Australia’s energy security by boosting oil recovery in mature basins. All of the injected volume of CO₂ will be permanently stored in underground reservoirs by the end of the operational life cycle,” Mr Byers said.

With results from the study to be shared across Australia’s energy resources sector, its key findings can help both industry and governments make sustainable and long-term infrastructure investment decisions that meet the public’s expectations for a low carbon future.
News: CO2CRC welcomes bipartisan support for Carbon Capture and Storage 
CO2CRC has welcomed recent comments from federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese, which expressed the desire for CCS to form part of a bipartisan approach to energy policy. 
Chairman Martin Ferguson pointed out that Australia has the potential to leverage geological advantages and deep experience in the resources sector to capitalise on opportunities presented by CCS and CCUS technologies. 
“The value of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) is its versatility as a technology option. Its applications extend to industrial processes vital to Australia’s economy like gas processing, steel and cement production as well as power generation.”  
Federal Labor’s unwillingness to support making CCS projects eligible for funding from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is disappointing; however, Mr Albanese's letter to the PM is a step in the right direction
Investment: Santos evaluates carbon capture for inclusion in Cooper Basin hydrogen plans 

Australian energy company Santos has announced that the company is evaluating a potential hydrogen project in South Australia’s Cooper Basin, which will include carbon capture and storage. 

The project aims to produce “zero emissions” hydrogen.  

Santos CEO Kevin Galagher underlines the importance of CCS: “Carbon capture and storage is the fastest and most efficient route to a hydrogen economy, using less water, de-carbonising natural gas at its source and eliminating Scope 3 emissions,” 

The project complements a larger CCS initiative jointly funded by Santos and BP, which aims to separate and store emissions from LNG extracted in the Cooper Basin. A final investment decision on this project is set to be taken by the end of 2020. 

From BP’s perspective, the Cooper Basin CCS initiative is part of a broader commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. BP director of policy, environment and community affairs Tzila Katzel recently highlighted that “We see a big role for carbon capture and storage to play in decarbonising the current value chain, especially in gas.” 
News: Global CCS Institute adds ten new projects to global database 

The Global CCS Institute, an international think tank committed to progress in the field of carbon capture and storage, has added ten major CCS projects to the global database maintained by the Institute. 

The CO2RE Database now includes 59 facilities, of which 21 are already operating. Once all included projects come online, they will capture and store an estimated 127 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. 

Nine of the recently added facilities are in the United States, where projects are now benefiting from increased government incentives. 
Investment: Australia’s CCU potential highlighted 

A recent editorial published by both the Asia Society and ANZ Bank explored Australia's potential as a major player in the field of carbon capture and utilisation. 

The author Sophia Hamblin Wang, Chief Operating Officer of Mineral Carbonation International – pointed to Australian expertise in bulk commodity handling and resource development as indicating potential for the development of regional carbon processing hubs. 

The paper highlights how Australia could invest in research and commercial collaborations, leverage its proximity to Asia and promote the utilisation of captured carbon in applications such as cement-making and chemical feedstocks. 
Investment: Equinor announces major hydrogen-CCS project in Humber region of UK
Energy major Equinor has announced further details on its hydrogen with CCS project, planned for the UK’s most emissions-intensive industrial cluster. The project is slated to be the world’s first at-scale hydrogen production plant from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage.  

The initial phase of the company’s plan is to build a 600-megawatt facility to convert natural gas to hydrogen, capturing and storing the resulting carbon emissions. Neighbouring chemical facilities will have access to the hydrogen produced, enabling emissions reductions of 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, while the thermal energy plant onsite will replace 30% of natural gas used in energy generation with hydrogen.
Policy: Scotland’s ‘golden opportunity’ -- Scottish government report urges move into carbon capture 

A report from a key Scottish government advisory group has highlighted the opportunities that North Sea infrastructure offers for carbon capture and storage. The report’s authors pointed out the importance of incentivising energy companies to pivot to CCS and renewable technologies during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr Benny Higgins, advisor to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, stated that “...there has to be a repurposing of the oil and gas sector to some degree and that’s where the heart of the progress has to lie.” 

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has confirmed support for the Acorn carbon capture and storage and hydrogen project, as part of a £62 million energy transition fund. Companies have reportedly responded, making a massive move to embrace CCUS opportunities.
Research: Singapore is planning to research and develop CCUS technology to reduce the climate impact of some its most carbon-intensive industries.
A consortium that includes oil giant Chevron, infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong, concrete producer Pan-United, and data center operator Keppel Data Centres aims to develop commercially viable CCS systems that can be deployed locally in Singapore, and potentially exported overseas.
The consortium is supported by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF). "While Singapore, like the world, is still dependent on fossil fuels for our energy needs, technologies that enable efficient CCUS would help mitigate our emissions greatly,” said NRF chief executive, Professor Low Teck Seng.
Research: Monash and CSIRO set record for carbon capture  

New research from Monash University’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the CSIRO has set a new record for CCS. The technology - which uses metal organic frameworks (MOFs) - can capture carbon dioxide from a variety of sources, including directly from the atmosphere. 

As noted by lead researcher Associate Professor Matthew Hill, “Essentially, we can capture CO2 from anywhere. Our current focus is for capture directly from the air in what are known as negative emissions technologies.” 

The new technology requires just a third of the energy used by other CCS methods 
Policy: US Treasury Proposes New CCS Tax Rules 

The US Department of the Treasury has announced proposed rules to govern the granting of tax credits for CCS initiatives. The draft rules outline how verified CCS projects can access carbon credits worth up to USD50 per tonne of CO2 sequestered.

It is hoped that the increased certainty delivered by the announced framework will help spur investment in CCS projects. Interested parties are invited to submit comments on the proposed regulations.
News: CCS Talks: The CarbonNet Project – A hub for climate change action and economic growth

The CarbonNet Project presented an update to their project during a GCCSI CCS Talks Webinar
The Pelican storage site in the Bass Strait is in a world class basin. The site has been fully characterised and appraised and has substantial storage capacity of 125 – 500 Mt of CO2.
Investigations have also begun on a second large structural anticline with substantial storage capacity (125 Mt) known as Kookaburra. The work CarbonNet is currently undertaking on both storage sites will go towards a “Declaration of Identified Storage Formation”.
CarbonNet has also undertaken significant stakeholder engagement and communications activities in collaboration with their lead research organisation, CO2CRC.
FEATURE:  Gippsland Monitoring Network – Highlighted outcomes of Seismology Monitoring Network
The Seismology Monitoring Network was a collaborative research project with CO2CRC leading the asset deployment and ANLEC R&D leading the research funding. The University of Melbourne deployed a number of seismometers to improve seismograph coverage of the Gippsland Basin with particular focus on future CarbonNet storage sites. Highlights of the research project include:
  • Establishing operational protocols (e.g. selecting an appropriate mix of instruments, site selection and deployment, data transfer, maintenance) applicable to seismic monitoring in shallow marine environments in general, for which off-the-shelf monitoring solutions are not available. This work enables high quality seismic monitoring of offshore CCS sites.

  • Implementation of a theoretical framework to design and test seismic networks for offshore CCS monitoring based on detectable/locatable minimum magnitude. This enables users to test multiple design options to optimise network performance prior to the deployment of assets.

  • Establishing workflows to pre- and post-process data and invert for physical parameters of seismic sources (e.g. real-time monitoring, denoising, focal mechanism inversion, moment tensor inversion, source spectral analysis, b-value estimates, noise characterization).

  • Deployment of the first shallow water Ocean Bottom Seismometer system (OBS) in Australia.