PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Five new areas in Commonwealth waters have been made available for the exploration of greenhouse gas storage opportunities.
Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the bidding round opened for the 2021 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Acreage Release, which is centred around prospective locations offshore Northern Territory and Western Australia.
“This is Australia’s first greenhouse gas acreage release since 2014 and it provides a pathway for future carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects,” Pitt said.
“The government is committed to reducing emissions through the use of technology, not taxes or impositions on business, while also ensuring that our industries remain strong.
“Australia has the capacity to continue to be an energy export leader, at the same time as providing a regional hub for the storage of greenhouse gas.
“Carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) is one of the priority technologies we are developing. The proximity to gas fields and existing infrastructure provide opportunities for industry partnership and collaboration, further industrial development and the creation of jobs.
“All 2021 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Acreage Release areas are based on industry nominations and subject to public consultation. The government is responding positively to real industry demand for CCS, a technology that we are supporting.”
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has welcomed the release of the new acreage, with CEO Andrew McConville saying the new areas in Commonwealth waters offshore Northern Territory and Western Australia, the first release of greenhouse gas storage acreage since 2014, will also help create jobs and build on the gains that CCS has already made.
‘’There’s no doubt that CCS is a solution to reducing emissions. It is safe, it is a permanent solution and we have already seen it can help achieve global climate goals.
‘’Furthermore, Australia is in a great position to take advantage of CCS. We’ve got a head start and a natural competitive advantage to implement CCS with high quality, stable geological storage basins, infrastructure that’s already in place, the best technical expertise, and the right regulatory regimes.
“With more experience, more gains in technology and larger areas of waters to work with, the cost of CCS will fall and that means we can deliver not just competitive, large-scale abatement for industries in operation now, but we can create new industries based on hydrogen and ammonia,” McConville said.
‘’When we combine CCS with natural gas it will lead to a large-scale clean hydrogen industry. That means more jobs and export dollars for Australia.
“Creating a new hydrogen industry helps cut emissions, lowers the cost of energy and creates new manufacturing opportunities. Many of our members are already at the cutting edge of CCS and hydrogen developments and this announcement can help developments move forward,’’ McConville said.
Work programme bids are to be submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator between March 4, 2022 and March 10, 2022.