Santos chief executive officer and managing director Kevin Gallagher has emphasised the importance of decarbonisation in developing the oil and gas sector.
Speaking at the APPEA 2021 conference, Gallagher said decarbonisation, through technologies like carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen production using natural gas, is critical.
“Currently, hydrogen is the only obvious pathway to eliminating Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions associated with gas production and consumption,” he said.
“The timing of a zero-emissions energy transformation will be driven by how quickly our customers evolve. We will need to evolve with them as they continue to demand more carbon-neutral LNG cargoes and zero-emissions fuels.”
Gallagher further highlighted that APPEA and its member companies want to see the wealth of Australia’s oil and gas resources unlocked for the benefit of the nation.
Without decarbonisation, Gallagher is a firm believer that the window of opportunity for developing Australia oil and gas resources is rapidly closing.
“Decarbonisation is a new industry opportunity for Australia – through carbon capture and storage, biological sequestration in soil and vegetation, and development of a new hydrogen industry,” he added.
“Just as Japan and Korea have counted on Australia to supply the energy resources to feed their economies over the last half century, they and other countries can look to Australia to help meet their emissions reduction targets.”
Further outlined in his speech, Gallagher said Australia has a natural competitive advantage in CCS with known high-quality, stable geological storage basins capable of injection at a rate of 300 million tonnes per annum for at least 100 years.
“They are the same basins where many APPEA members have already demonstrated their ability to inject gases because we are already doing it to enhance oil production or to store gas so it can be brought to market quickly in periods of high demand,” he said.
“This is proven technology with Australia already hosting the world’s largest CCS project – the Gorgon Carbon Dioxide Injection Project at Barrow Island right here in Western Australia.
“I urge everyone to therefore consider decarbonisation not simplistically as a threat – but as an opportunity to establish a new, large-scale industry producing carbon offsets that will be in heavy demand from emitting countries that lack Australia’s competitive advantages in carbon storage.”