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Chevron Barrow Island 120 million tonne CO2 dump gets OK: expert panels protect unique biodiversity of island and marine environment

Posted by gmarkets on 10 September, 2007

Chevron Australia yesterday cleared the final stage of the approvals process for its mammoth Barrow Island CO2 dump project, as Western Australia’s Environment Minister David Templeman imposed 36 state environmental conditions on the undertaking, reported The Mercury (8/9/2007, p. 32). Money, time and research: Chevron said its system would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 120 million tonnes over the life of the project, by injecting carbon dioxide 2.5km below the island. Chevron Australia general manager Colin Beckett decribed the conditions as some of the most stringent imposed on a major project anywhere in the world. “We’ll be stripping the carbon dioxide out from the [gas] reservoir and then injecting it into a saline reservoir beneath Barrow, where it will be permanently stored,” Beckett said. “We’ve been pursuing this injecting scheme for a number of years and participated in research in the late 1990s, which gave us confidence to be able to do this…and have spent a considerable amount of money to make sure we have the technical aspects of this sorted out and to make sure we’ve got the geology in which to inject it.”

Expert panels to protect environment: Beckett said Chevron had operated on Barrow Island over 40 years and had done extensive geological and geophysical work to fully understand the area. “The use of carbon dioxide as a recovery mechanism in oil fields has been around for a long time, so we at Chevron have significant international experience in injecting and compression of CO2 into reservoirs to enhance oil recovery.” In addition to the geosequestration system, the joint venture partners – Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell – must establish expert panels to protect the unique biodiversity of the island and surrounding marine environment. The Gorgon project is globally significant with an estimated resource base of more than 40 trillion cubic feet of gas and a nominal development life of around 60 years.

The Mercury, 8/9/2007, p. 32

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