Geosequestration of Co2: the View from ‘down under’
The reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide is a high priority for governments and industry reflected in commitments and agreements by the international community through institutions such as the United Nations, the G8 and the International Energy Agency. Geosequestration of CO2 (also known as carbon capture and storage, or CCS) provides the greatest opportunity for mitigation of carbon dioxide resulting from the use of fossil fuels. CCS involves the long—term storage of captured CO2 emissions in subsurface geological formations. In Australia, stationary energy generating plants account for approximately half of all greenhouse gas emissions and constitute point sources from which carbon dioxide can potentially be captured and geologically stored. This has led to a number of recent Government and industry initiatives to support the development and deployment of large scale integrated CCS projects. The Australian Government is introducing a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) to provide the legal framework for reducing the carbon intensity of the Australian economy. The National Low Emissions Coal Council (NLECC) was established with joint funding from the Australian Coal Association and support from the States with the primary focus of supporting large scale demonstration projects in Australia. Building on a G8 initiative, the Federal Government recently established the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI) to facilitate the deployment of 20 large scale CCS projects. It is anticipated that some of these will be in Australia.
Australia’s first demonstration of geological storage of CO2 (the CO2CRC Otway Project) is already underway in the state of Victoria. This innovative project, which is the largest R&D project of its type in the world, is in the process of injecting up to 100,000 tonnes of CO2 into a depleted gas field to demonstrate CCS storage technologies. The project involves leading Australian and international researchers working to develop and implement a rigorous program of CO2 treatment, transport, injection, storage, monitoring and verification. Monitoring and verification is crucial to long term public acceptability and to the requirements of regulators and financial markets.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009