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Australian well test success boosts carbon capture hopes

A greenhouse gas technology cooperative research centre has completed a significant AU$10 million research milestone in a project aimed at developing the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry.

As part of the Otway Project to demonstrate that CCS is an effective way of cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) has developed the first single well test to evaluate the CO2 storage capacity and security of geological carbon storage worldwide.

The Australian government is providing AU$18.6m in support of the CO2CRC’s endeavours under the current funding term.

“As a result of this latest research, industry can now cost-effectively determine how much carbon dioxide can safely be stored in a particular location.

“This will, in turn, help accelerate the deployment of CCS projects, both in Australia and internationally with the single well test to be used in countries such as China, the US, Canada, the UK and Europe,” said Kim Carr, innovation minister, in a statement on 22 September.

Martin Ferguson, the resources and energy minister, said in the same statement, “In addition to our support for the CO2CRC and the Global CCS Institute, we are also working with China on joint CCS projects, with AU$20 million in Australian Government funding for the Australia-China Joint Coordination Group on Clean Coal Technology.

“Through this group, Australia and China have now endorsed a scoping study for a commercial scale post-combustion capture project and agreed to explore opportunities for an Australia-China Joint Research Centre in clean coal technology.

“We have also given the green light to stage two of a project that will continue to promote capacity-building, training opportunities and the sharing of expertise on the geological storage of CO2,” Ferguson added.