ExxonMobil Begins Study for South East Australia CCS Hub

ExxonMobil has initiated front-end engineering design studies to determine the feasibility of developing a South East Australia carbon capture and storage hub in the Bass Strait, where some of Australia’s oldest offshore oil and gas fields are to be decommissioned.

ExxonMobil is planning to decommission offshore facilities in the Bass Strait, where it also is examining the feasibility of developing a carbon capture and storage hub.
Source: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has begun early front-end engineering design studies to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of storing greenhouse-gas emissions in the Bream field off the Gippsland, Victoria, coast of Australia.

The South East Australia Carbon Capture and Storage (SEA CCS) hub could be up and running by 2025 and capture up to 2 million metric tons/year of CO2 from multiple carbon-intensive industries if its feasibility is confirmed, ExxonMobil said in a news release.

The Bream field is in the Bass Strait, where ExxonMobil Australia is currently studying how best to decommission some of its offshore facilities on some of Australia’s most mature oil and gas fields, according to the company’s website.

Meanwhile, Australian independents Santos and Beach Energy expect to bring their joint venture Moomba CCS project online in 2024 after having taken a final investment decision on that 1.7 mtpa carbon storage system in November 2021.

The USD 165 million (AUD 220 million) Moomba CSS project in South Australia’s outback is expected to become Australia’s first operational CSS hub, according to the Australian Ministry of Energy and Emissions Reduction.

Santos says it also has a Western Australia project “in the concept stage.”

In announcing its decision to proceed with the Moomba investment, Santos pointed out that the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario requires a hundredfold increase in CCS between now and 2050 to achieve the world’s climate goals—going from 40 million tons of CO2 stored each year today to 5.6 billion tons in 30 years.

Source: Santos 2022 Climate Change Report

Outside of Australia, Santos is targeting the company’s Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field facilities off the coast of Timor-Leste in the Timor Sea, where 10 mtpa CO2 can be stored permanently “once gas production ceases,” Santo’s CEO Kevin Gallagher said in a press release.

At the end of February, Santos also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Australian and Korean partners to collaborate in developing CO2 storage facilities throughout not only Australia but also the Asia Pacific region as a whole.

Signators to that MOU included Australia’s CO2CRC not-for-profit carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) research organization, which owns and operates the Otway International Test Centre in Nirranda South, Victoria; Korean energy company SK E&S; the K-CCUS Association, a Korean organization that develops and commercializes CCUS technologies; and the Korean Trade Insurance Corporation.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil’s Low Carbon Solutions business is aiming to commercialize lower-emission business opportunities in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and lower-emission fuels.

The international major is discussing its Grippsland project with local emissions-intensive industries to assess interest in using the hub to reduce their emissions, Exxon said in its release.

In the company’s statement, Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, stressed that “collaboration with other industries” as well as “sound government policies” to “accelerate the deployment of key technologies” are needed to achieve “large-scale reductions in the highest-emitting industrial sectors.”

For Further Reading
SPE 202335 CO2 Storage with Enhanced Gas Recovery (CS-EGR) in Conventional and Unconventional Gas Reservoirs in Australia

IPTC 18224 Bream Field (Phase 4)—EOR and Late Field Life Management

SPE 205823 Integrating Underwater Data into GIS for Offshore Decommissioning in Bass Strait Australia