Under the Licence, the Santos and Beach Energy joint venture is authorised to conduct activities to determine the natural reservoirs, test CO2 storage reservoirs, and evaluate their commercial feasibility.
The Licence area is close to Santos’ flagship Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, which is scheduled to begin operations next year. The Moomba CCS project could store up to 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year in reservoirs that have historically stored oil and gas for tens of millions of years.
Santos has secured 100 million tonnes of carbon storage resource in South Australia’s Cooper Basin and will report the volumes after evaluations are completed.
Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher said the new Licence area could facilitate cost-effective carbon capture and storage beyond the initial Moomba CCS phase for decades to come.
“This is a potential opportunity for low-cost abatement of emissions for nearby customers in hard-to-abate sectors such as steel, cement and metals manufacturing. Our customers in Asia are also looking to CCS in Australia to help their economies decarbonise,” Gallagher stated.
He explained that the technology is becoming more cost-competitive for capturing large-scale industrial CO2 sources and transporting them long distances via ship and pipeline to locations like Moomba.
“This is an exciting new industry for South Australia and for Santos, providing potential new revenue streams for our business. It offers a new lease of life for the Cooper Basin and the jobs and businesses it supports in South Australia,” he added.
According to him, Santos utilises its advanced technology, infrastructure, and expertise to provide competitive, low-cost CCS globally.
He noted that the International Energy Agency (IEA) acknowledges Australia’s competitive advantage in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and its potential for large-scale deployment to support domestic CO2 abatement and regional emissions reductions. Australia’s long-standing role as a reliable energy-producing nation for Asian economies highlights the importance of leveraging this opportunity and obligation.
“By developing a new CCS-based industry, Australia could play a critical role in helping our whole region decarbonise while also delivering the energy security and affordability that underpins stability in the Asia-Pacific,” he added.
According to Beach Energy Interim CEO Bruce Clement, natural gas combined with CCS would assist Australia in meeting its carbon reduction targets while also delivering a stable and economical electricity supply.
“For Beach, Moomba CCS will abate a significant proportion of our company’s emissions, and the future opportunities for third party CO2 abatement are very exciting,” Clement said.