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CO2 dump approved: Chevron Australia puts cost for storage scheme and first 10 years of operations at $850 million

Posted by gmarkets on 19 September, 2007

Chevron Australia general manager Colin Beckett said his company’s Barrow island project, to put carbon dioxide underground to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, would be larger than any other geosequestration scheme currently contemplated or in production, reported The Mercury (8/9/2007, p. 15).

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CO2 dump rules in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland: none appear to deal with earthquake, water quality or leak risks, or, long-term liability

Posted by gmarkets on 19 September, 2007

South Australia had amended the Petroleum Act 2000 to include CO2 as a regulated substance which can be transported by pipeline. This Act also provides for the granting of a licence to store CO2 in natural reservoirs.

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APEC-hurry-up to CO2-dump approval, gave piece of the profits to Japan: as WA approves Chevron’s Gorgon dump

Posted by gmarkets on 18 September, 2007

West Australian Environment Minister David Templeman issued environmental approvals and imposed 36 conditions on the undertaking and Chevron Australia managing director Jay Johnson said the company was in talks with Japanese customers about taking a minority equity stake in Gorgon. “Chevron has been working with three Japanese customers and there are provisions for equity participation and purchase of LNG from Chevron,” he said to The Advertiser, 8/9/2007, p. 86

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Fed Govt prefers voluntary fuel efficiency targets to mandatory CO2 emission standards for motor vehicles

Posted by gmarkets on 18 September, 2007

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull, responding to written questions by Labor MP John Murphy, said in the Federal House of Representatives on 11 September 2007 that the government had not set carbon dioxide emission standards for motor vehicles, whether imported to Australia or made locally, but relied on a voluntary national average fuel consumption target.

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Australian Federal House of Representative Standing Committee on Science and Innovation proposes subsidies to make coal CO2 dumps make money

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

More funding, more funding, rigorous regulation, indirect funding and more regulation were the five recommendations presented by the Federal House of Representative’s Standing Committee on Science and Innovation’s report titled Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. Funding for CSIRO: In its first recommendation on carbon capture and storage: “Recommendation 1 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide funding to the CSIRO to progress research being conducted through the CO2CRC to assess the storage potential for permanent CO2 geosequestration in sedimentary basins in New South Wales, particularly the off-shore Sydney Basin, and the economic viability of these sites.”

Funds to show how: Regarding Australian CCS demonstration projects, the committee made “Recommendation 2 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government fund one or more large-scale projects which will demonstrate the operation and integration of the CCS — capture, transportation and sequestration and monitoring. The Government’s assessment of which project(s) will receive funding will be based on a competitive tender process.”

Covering risk: The environmental benefits and risks of CCS and public perception of them led to: “Recommendation 3 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government implement a rigorous regulatory environmental risk mitigation framework for CCS which covers:

• Criteria for CCS site selection and an assessment of the environmental impact at selected sites;

• Assessment of the risk of abrupt or gradual leakage, and appropriate response strategies; and

• Requirements for long-term site monitoring and reporting.”

Financial incentives: On the economic benefits and costs of CCS the committee made “Recommendation 4 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, as part of its broader fiscal response to climate change, employ financial incentives, both direct and tax based, in an effort to encourage science and industry to continue developing and testing CCS technology.”

Liability spread over three phases: Turning to the legislative and regulatory framework, the committee offered “Recommendation 5 – The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, following industry consultation, develop legislation to define the financial liability and ongoing monitoring responsibilities at a geosequestration site. The Committee recommends that financial liability and site responsibility should consist of three phases:

• Full financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should rest with industry operators for the injection phase and a subsequent length of time (this time to be determined by the Australian Government subject to specific site risk analysis);

• Following the above specified time, shared financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should rest equally with industry operators and state, territory and Australian governments in the longer term. The exact length of this shared responsibility and liability phase should be determined by the governments subject to specific site risk analysis; and

• Following the determined phase of shared liability and responsibility, full financial liability and responsibility for site safety and monitoring should be transferred to the two spheres of government in perpetuity.”

Reference: Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, August 2007, Canberra. For Media comment: contact the Committee Chair, Mr Petro Georgiou MP. Phone (02) 6277 4419 or the Deputy Chair, Mr Harry Quick MP. Phone: (02) 6277 4304. For information: contact the Committee Secretary. Phone: (02) 6277 4150. Issued by: Liaison and Projects Office, House of Representatives. Phone: (02) 6277 2392. Copies of the report can be obtained from the website:
http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/scin/geosequestration/index.htm

Erisk Net, 13/8/2007

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Macquarie Generation reveals giant solar plans, State CO2 dump policy, and plans for man-made mountains of solidified CO2

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

A submission to Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW, by Grant Every-Burns, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Macquarie Generation shows Macquarie plans for credit-earning solar power, and for credit-earning CO2 dump projects and also new plans for man-made mountains of solidified CO2.

The Solar plan: “If financially viable, the provision of 200 hectares of solar collectors would reduce coal consumption by around 100,000 tonnes. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 180,000 tonnes or more than 3 per cent of what they would otherwise be from each 900 MW generating unit. In turn, the greenhouse gas emissions per unit of electricity sent out from Bayswater 2 would fall from around 0.8 tonnes to 0.775 tonnes/MWh.

All three State generators plan CO2 dumps: The three New South Wales State owned generators are currently working on a joint project to determine the availability of suitable geosequestration sites inside New South Wales. This work included;

• preliminary investigations into the availability of coal seam storage;

• and deep saline aquifer storage potential inside New South Wales.

Plans for NSW CO2 sump site: According to the submission “To date the areas which are showing some potential include deep coal seams in the Gunnedah Basin and large saline aquifers in the Darling Basin west of Cobar.

State-funded CO2 dump plans: “This work, commissioned by the three New South Wales State owned generators with the assistance of the Department of Primary Industries has indicated that there may be a need to reassess previous views and opinions which inferred that New South Wales was without any significant potential for major geosequestration.

CO2 dump working party:The New South Wales State owned generation businesses, coal industry participants, the Department of Primary Industries, and the Department of Water and Energy have established a working party to commission significant further research and potential trial drilling and injection over the next few years.

Man-made mountain plan by Macgen: Macquarie Generation is also considering potential trials by the CSIRO into a locally conceived process, an integrated one that would, if proven, see carbon dioxide permanently sequestered using minerals that are abundant in New South Wales, and be free of the concerns associated with securing the permanent storage of carbon dioxide as pressurised gas. The process if proven promises even lower sent out electricity prices and deployment perhaps by 2025.

Reference: Submission to Owen Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW, Macquarie Generation. G V Every-Burns, Chief Executive and Managing Dierector, 29 June 2007. PHone: +61 2 4968 7499 Fax +61 2 4968 7433 Website: http://www.macgen.com.au

Erisk Net, 29/6/2007

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Positive environmental benefits from deployment of CO2 dumps, providing there is appropriate regulation, House of Representatives report claims

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

Once CO2 had been stored underground, effective and accurate technologies to measure and monitor the CO2 were essential for the purposes of regulation, carbon accounting and public safety, noted the House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation report Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration.

CO2 leakage the big worry: The greatest environmental risk associated with CCS concerned the potential for CO2 leakage, which could have serious consequences for the environment and people’s health. These risks could be mitigated through further research, rigorous site selection and post-injection management.

“Substantial positive environmental benefits”: The extent of the environmental benefits of CCS continued to be debated. Some argued that CCS had the potential to reduce global CO2 emissions by 7.8 per cent with potentially greater benefits to be seen in the later half of the 21st century. Others contend that, given the environmental risks, there were more viable options. The Committee concluded that there were substantial positive environmental benefits to be gained from the deployment of CCS, providing there was also appropriate regulation and scrutiny of environmental risks. The Committee recommended the implementation of a rigorous regulatory environmental risk mitigation framework for CCS.

CO2 dumps may double coal gen cost: There was also the question of what impact CCS deployment would have on electricity costs. Clean energy came at a price but in the case of CCS, the size of a price increase was not clear. Available data suggested that CCS might double the cost of electricity generation from coal.

Cost may be lower overall: However, as CSIRO noted, the cost of implementing capture technology was ‘only a proportion of the costs consumers pay’. Conversely, Robert Socolow had predicted that as ‘the costs of distribution and transmission [of electricity] are hardly affected [by CCS] … the retail cost of electricity would increase by just 20 [per cent]’.

Reference: ‘Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration’. House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, August 2007, Canberra. For Media comment: contact the Committee Chair, Mr Petro Georgiou MP, on (02) 6277 4419 or the Deputy Chair, Mr Harry Quick MP, (02) 6277 4304. For information: contact the Committee Secretary on (02) 6277 4150. Issued by: Liaison and Projects Office, House of Representatives, Phone: (02) 6277 2392. Copies of the report can be obtained from the website: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/scin/geosequestration/index.htm

Erisk Net, 14/8/2007

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Queensland CO2 dump plans: legislative proposals set out CCS Exploration Permits, Potential Commercial Area and Storage Lease arrangements

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

It was proposed that the P&G Act be amended and a new chapter inserted specifically to regulate tenure for CO2 capture and storage, according to the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy report, Carbon dioxide geosequestration tenure administration.

Distinct tenure briefly considered: To recognise the unique nature of CO2 geosequestration, a different tenure, distinct from the existing petroleum tenure, was also contemplated. Queensland was committed to using the MCMPR Regulatory Guiding Principles to develop CCS legislation.

Key issues for new laws: The legislation would aim to be consistent with the MCMPR Regulatory Guiding Principles and deal with the following range of issues:

• location of suitable sites;

• appropriate tenure type and term of tenure;

• capture and transport of CO2;

• access to that land;

• injection of CO2;

• storage of CO2;

• safety;

• monitoring of stored CO2;

• liability, including post-closure/post-project;

• financial;

• approval and assessment

Proposed CCS tenure model: Although the terminology may change the following tenure arrangements are proposed for CCS activities:

• CCS Exploration Permit (CCS EP);

• CCS EP for Retention- Potential Commercial Area (CCS PCA);

• CCS Storage Lease (CCS SL);

EP conditions: A CCS EP will allow the successful proponent to conduct CCS exploration in the permit area and according to the approved work program submitted with the application.

PCA conditions: A CCS PCA will be an option whereby a CCS EP holder has discovered a suitable underground reservoir for CCS storage but no “CCS stream” (yet to be defined) was currently available.

SL conditions: A CCS SL would allow the holder to inject and store a CCS stream into the previously approved CCS reservoir. The activities must be done according to the approved development plan for the project. Site selection will be one of the most important elements of CCS activities with a requirement for a “predictive CCS stream migration model” to be included in the development plan.

Reference: This publication may be printed from or downloaded form the DME website at ww.dme.qld.gov.au For copyright enquries telephone (07) 3237 1644 or send facsimile to (07) 3238 3188. The closing date for submission sis two months from the date of announcement by the Minister. Submissions can be sent by post, facsimile or email. Postal address: Mining Legislation Review, Mining and Petroleum, Department of Mines and Energy, PO Box 15216, City East Qld 4002 Facsimile: (07) 3238 3188 Email: ccsleg@dme.qld.gov.au Please note: This discussion paper is for public discussion and comment and does not commit the government or a Minister either to the views expressed in it or to a particular direction for future action. All submissions will be treated as public documents subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992. Submissions may take the form of letters or emails addressing the questions asked in the paper, issues of concern, or a list of matters identified by page or section numbers, stating the issues arising and suggested solutions.

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Giant CO2 dump planned for North-West Shelf as Woodside plots LNG profits-pathway

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

According to Stephen Wisenthal in The Australian Financial Review (27/8/2007, p.14), Woodside Petroleum managing director Don Voelte sees the latest next big thing, the $12 billion Pluto LNG project, as the ticket to an almost permanent growth path.

Strategy is merely a concept: Voelte insists the strategy he describes for sharing the gas produced from its 50 per cent owned Browse project, 1000 kilometres north of the North-West Shelf, is merely a concept. Still, he’s got a pretty clear idea. Thirty per cent could go to a 6 million tonne a year LNG expansion of Pluto, of which Woodside owns 100 per cent, leaving the rest of Browse to supply an expansion of the North-West Shelf Project.

Conveyor-belt approach: The early production could come from the North-West Shelf fields which, when depleted, Woodside would potentially use to store waste carbon dioxide it stripped out during processing. The conveyor-belt approach of building a new plant every couple of years will also help Woodside get ahead in the battle for skilled people, says Voelte. “In the LNG business, people have jumped from company to company as projects come along, once every 10 years,” he says. “What we’ll be able to do is offer them a career. We’ve hired a few people recently, some of the best in the industry, because they know they’ve got five or six trains coming to work on, and they can stay in one company, in lovely Perth, lovely Australia, to raise their families, and let their kids go continuously to schools.”

The Australian Financial Review, 27/8/2007, p. 14

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Geoscience Australia looking to staff new CO2 dump program: six positions including a trainer for Asia-Pacific partners

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Geoscience Australia placed a recruitment advertisement for six geoscientists to work in a new program which aimed to reduce CO2 emissions,”Geoscience Australia is seeking motivated people who are keen to contribute to the reduction of atmospheric CO2 emissions by being involved in the development of a new program for geological storage of carbon dixoide within the Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Advice Group,” the advertisement read. “You will work within a multidisciplinary team of geoscientists to further develop the agency’s expertise in the areas of basin and reservoir modelling, CCS regulation, and management of monitoring and verification programs. Many of the skills we require are used in the oil and gas industry, and the hydrological and environmental sciences.” Wide range of experience also canvassed: “A range of positions are available from new graduate to project managers,” the advetrtisement continued. “Duties and remuneration will be based on qualifications and experience. For appointment at Levels 6 & 7 it is desirable for the person to have experience in Carbon dixoide Capture and Storage (CCS) issues, and have extensive industry or research experience.”

Training role targeted: “One of the senior positions will be in the International CCS Project to assist the Chief Scientist: Carbon Dioxide Capture & Storage in the management of a component of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6). This role is associated with capacity building and technology transfer projects, and will require training and development of staff from AP6 participating countries. For this position you will need experience in geological storage issues and strong project management skills. You will need an appropriate degree in science or engineering. Senior appointments will require extensive industry or research experience and a strong understanding of CCS issues. The initial contract period is until 30 June 2011.”

Reference: For further information about this position, please contact Andrew Barrett, Phone: (02) 6249 9502, or email: Andrew.Barrett@ga.gov.au Applications close 21 September 2007.

The Canberra Times, 8/9/2007, p. E2

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