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Santos, an Australian energy major with a focus on gas, wants to import carbon dioxide from Asia and store it in local reservoirs.
The idea may have sounded somewhat eccentric a few years ago but it seems that carbon capture and storage is gaining traction thanks to government support for such projects.
The support comes despite the scarcity of such projects in operation, with Bloomberg reporting there were only 30 carbon capture and storage projects across the world last year.
Santos, however, has ambitious plans: it wants to collect carbon dioxide from Asia and ship it to a storage facility in the Cooper Basin in South Australia. At the same, Santos plans to store some 1.7 million tons of its own carbon dioxide emitted during gas production activities in the basin.
Hard to abate sectors such as fertilizer, such as cement, such as steel manufacturing, all require solutions beyond what’s being currently offered,” said Santos energy solutions president Brett Woods as quoted by Bloomberg.
He went on to add that the Moomba facility in the Cooper Basin has the capacity to store 20 million tons of carbon dioxide annually for 50 years.
One of the arguments of carbon capture critics is that the technology is too expensive to be worth the investment. Santos, however, says that the first stage of the Moomba capture facility will cost less than $150 million (A$220 million) and the cost of storing CO2 there would be as little as $16 per ton.
Despite the track record of limited success, carbon capture may be beginning to take off. Governments are providing subsidies and companies are being pressured into reducing their emissions footprints by any means available.
The schemes face criticism from environmental advocates who say that carbon removal credits do not address the problem of emissions reduction and could lead to more greenwashing from the big polluters. Some have slammed the technology as an excuse for the oil industry to continue existing.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.