Santos has injected approximately 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide deep underground into depleted reservoirs as part of the final field trial for the Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in South Australia.
The successful injection occurred earlier this month in the Strzelecki field in the Cooper Basin.
Santos now plans to finalise technical and commercial arrangements with the aim of having the 1.7 million tonne per annum project ready for final investment decision by the end of the year.
The Moomba CCS project has the potential to store up to 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, according to Santos.
“We will need an approved methodology for CCS to be in place with the Clean Energy Regulator before we take a final investment decision on our Moomba CCS project because carbon credits are essential to make it stack up economically with the cost of abatement still at around $30 per tonne,” Santos managing director and chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.
“Our aim is to drive these costs lower with scale and experience, but the first step is to generate carbon credits to enable initial development.”
Santos expects that the initial project will support around 230 new South Australian jobs during construction.
Gallagher said this successful test, along with recent federal government announcements paves the way for large-scale CCS to drive down Australia’s carbon emissions.
Experts, including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have identified CCS as a critical technology to achieve the world’s climate goals.
“With the world still relying on hydrocarbon fuels for 80 per cent of its primary energy, zero emissions technologies that make hydrocarbon fuels cleaner are essential to meet the world’s emissions reduction targets,” Gallagher said.