Chevron Starts Injecting CO2 at Gorgon LNG

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Chevron has finally started injecting carbon dioxide at its A$2.5 billion ($1.7 billion) Gorgon carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in Australia. The milestone event comes three years after it began LNG operations at the same site. "We are monitoring system performance and plan to safely ramp up injection volumes over the coming months as we bring on line additional processing facilities," said Al Williams, Chevron's managing director in Australia. The CCS project at the $54 billion, 15.6 million ton per year Gorgon LNG facility will inject CO2 deep beneath Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Western Australia. Chevron described it as "one of the world's largest greenhouse gas mitigation projects ever undertaken by the industry." It will be capable of capturing and storing up to 4 million tons/yr of CO2, injecting more than 100 million tons of CO2 deep underground over the life of the Gorgon LNG scheme, and cutting Gorgon's greenhouse gas emissions by around 40%. Chevron has struggled to bring the CCS project on line as it grappled with new technology and technical problems (LNGI May29'19). The US major said that when the CCS facility is operating steadily at full capacity, Gorgon is expected to have the lowest greenhouse gas emissions intensity of any LNG project in Australia. There are currently 10 LNG projects in Australia (LNGI Mar.25'19). Chevron operates the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects and has been blamed for rising carbon emissions on the west coast of the country (EIF Mar.20'19). "Better late than never," said Richie Merzian, a director at the Australia Institute's climate and energy program. "It's great that Chevron has finally started the sequestration of emissions as it's legally required to do under its development approval and it's been funded to do through A$60 million in tax payer support for the CCS project," he added. Merzian told Energy Intelligence that "given the long delay and the excuses that Chevron has offered over the last three years, we won't get our hopes up just yet. They've only just reached the first milestone, so we are not sure what level they are actually sequestering at but it's supposed to get up to 80% of fugitive emissions." He estimated that the CO2 Chevron has released into the atmosphere at Gorgon over the last three years is equivalent to the annual emissions of 12 Pacific island countries. CCS has been touted by the oil and gas industry and some governments as an important tool in the transition to a low-carbon world. According to Merzian, the Australian government has committed $1.3 billion to get CCS up and running. BP is another major oil company that is backing the technology. Gardiner Hill, the company's vice president for carbon management told Energy Intelligence in a recent interview that virtually all of the credible analysis shows CCS playing a significant role in decarbonization of the global energy system. There are concerns in some quarters about the cost of CCS and the sluggish pace at which the technology is being deployed, but Hill said BP is hopeful that these challenges can be overcome. "We've been involved in technology development programs to help reduce the cost of the technology, to help us understand the application of the technology, and to understand the storage aspects of the technology. So, we are optimistic that it has an important role to play," he said (EIF Jun.12'19). Shani Alexander, Singapore

Carbon Capture (CCS)
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