PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has welcomed the release of new areas for exploration for offshore greenhouse gas storage to help Australia lower emissions and meet net-zero commitments, saying it would further grow the momentum to deploy carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology.
The 2023 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Acreage Release includes 10 areas across seven basins to explore for carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania which already host a variety of offshore exploration and production activities.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the areas had been chosen for their geology and storage potential, and following public feedback, been shaped to minimise impacts to other marine users and the marine environment.
“The Australian government is committed to lowering emissions and helping the world to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” King said.
“Both the Climate Change Authority and the International Energy Agency have said CCS will be an important technology to help the world achieve its climate goals.”
The Climate Change Authority has said that strong and urgent emissions cuts, together with the growth in carbon sequestration, are critical if the world is to achieve its net zero goals by mid-century.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has said that CCUS is part of the suite of technologies that will contribute to lowering atmospheric emissions from Australia’s energy system.
The International Energy Agency recognises that CCS and CCUS will play an important role in helping to achieve net zero by 2050, particularly in hard-to-abate industrial sectors.
King said the government provided A$12-million in the May 2023/24 Budget to review the environmental management regime and examine ways to improve regulations to support offshore CCS projects.
Appea this week said the release of further greenhouse gas storage acreage would help accelerate the nation’s path to net zero and support the creation of a new carbon management industry in Australia.
“There is an enormous opportunity for Australia to create new jobs and attract new investment through the development of carbon capture technology,” CEO Samantha McCulloch said.
“CCUS should be part of this nation’s DNA just like gas production has been for decades because it is basically the gas extraction process in reverse – trapping the emissions in deep geological formations, often in former gas fields.
“With places like the US and UK announcing major cleaner energy packages focused on this technology, Australia needs to ensure it is not missing out on securing emissions reductions and the economic benefits that will come with these new industries,” she added.
“There is growing momentum for CCUS globally as well as increasing recognition of the opportunity of the technology to attract new investment, create new jobs, build a major new industry for Australia, and support emissions reductions across the economy and the region.
‘’CCUS will be particularly important to address emissions in hard-to-abate industries like cement, iron and steel and chemical production where few alternatives exist, as well as in scaling up low-carbon hydrogen, where natural gas with CCUS is the lowest cost production method today.”