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PM spruiks climate ‘Action’

Posted by gmarkets on 25 September, 2007

“My department is today issuing a discussion paper on maintaining abatement incentives in the lead-up to emissions trading, which we aim to commence in 2011,” Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced yesterday.

No-pain policy? “The Government wants to ensure that firms undertaking emissions abatement are not disadvantaged ahead of the scheme commencing. We also want to explore the scope for positive incentives to undertake new, additional abatement”.

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Posted in Carbon Price, CCS, CO2 Dumps, Emissions, Federal Election, Geosequestration, Green Markets 0920 | Leave a Comment »

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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Posted in CCS, CO2 Dumps, Gas, Geosequestration, Green Markets 0919, Western Australia | Leave a Comment »

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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Posted in CCS, CO2 Dumps, Geosequestration, Green Markets 0919, Law, Policy, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia | Leave a Comment »

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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Posted in CCS, CO2 Dumps, Geosequestration, Green Markets 0919 | Leave a Comment »

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 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: 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.

Posted in CCS, CO2 Dumps, Gas, Geosequestration, Law, Policy, Queensland | Leave a Comment »

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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Shell and Anglo American versus Esso in Victoria CO2-dump war: Shell and Anglo own the waste-CO2, and Esso owns the CO2-hole

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Success in life extension work by Bass Strait operator Esso has prompted the ExxonMobil subsidiary to predict that the region still had more than 20 years left of oil production and more than 30 years of gas, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (30/7/2007, p.22). A $400 million seismic data and infill drilling program, involving wells at the Kingfish, Bream, Halibut and Fortescue fields, was adding 30,000 barrels of crude oil to daily production, worth close to $1 billion a year on current prices. But Esso’s success had implications for the planned $5 billion Monash Energy coal-to-liquids project in the Latrobe Valley, a joint venture between Shell and Anglo American. Feds pump money into CO2 dump demos: The potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Bass Strait’s reservoirs was the subject of a Federal Government-funded study by Monash that found there was massive storage capacity in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs or in deeper geological structures.

NIMBY says Esso: But success in the Esso infill program suggested that the implementation of CCS in Bass Strait could be further off than first thought, given the intention of draft legislation that existing oil and gas production not be affected by licences issued for CCS. Monash countered that there was “still no new information to challenge the initial conclusion that hydrocarbon extraction and CCS can be entirely compatible activities in the Gippsland Basin [Bass Strait]”.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 30/7/2007, p. 22

Posted in CCS, Emissions, Energy, Gas, Geosequestration | Leave a Comment »

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: Applications close 21 September 2007.

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

Posted in Asia, Australia, CCS, CO2 Dumps, Gas, Geosequestration, Policy | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by gmarkets on 14 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 Commettee 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:

Posted in Australia, CCS, CO2 Dumps, Geosequestration, Policy | Leave a Comment »