Australian energy major Santos today (22nd Oct) said it has successfully injected approximately 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide deep underground into depleted gas reservoirs in the Cooper Basin.

The key milestone occurred earlier this month in the Strzelecki field as part of the final field trial for the Moomba Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project.

Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said the company will now 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.

Ultimately, the Moomba CCS Project has the potential to store up to 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.

“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 A$30 per tonne,” 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.”

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.

“With the world still relying on hydrocarbon fuels for 80% of its primary energy, zero emissions technologies that make hydrocarbon fuels cleaner are essential to meet the world’s emissions reduction targets,” he said.

“Today, CCS projects store around 40 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide, far short of the more than two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide the IEA forecasts that CCS projects will need to store each year by 2040.”

“Australia has a natural competitive advantage in CCS with known high-quality, stable geological depleted storage basins capable of injection at a rate of 300 million tonnes per annum for at least 100 years – the same basins that have previously safely and permanently held oil and gas in place for tens of millions of years.”