Australia’s Santos expands CCS acreage

Australian LNG player Santos and joint venture partner Beach Energy have secured additional carbon storage acreage after they won a gas storage retention licence west of Moomba.

The South Australian Department for Energy and Mining awarded the licence to the two firms.

Santos said in a statement that the joint venture is authorized to carry out activities to establish the nature and extent of natural reservoirs, test the reservoirs for storage of CO2, and establish the commercial feasibility of CO2 storage and storage techniques.

The licence area is near Santos’ flagship Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project which is on track for startup next year, it said.

Santos said the Moomba CCS project could safely and permanently store up to 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per annum in reservoirs which have previously stored oil and gas for tens of millions of years.

The company has already booked 100 million tonnes of carbon storage resource in the Cooper Basin in South Australia.

Once evaluations are completed, Santos will report the carbon storage resource volumes associated with this additional acreage, it said.

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said the new licence area could enable “cost-effective carbon capture and storage beyond the initial phase of Moomba CCS phase for decades to come.”

“This is a potential opportunity for low-cost abatement of emissions for nearby customers in hard-to-abate sectors such as steel, cement and metals manufacturing. Our customers in Asia are also looking to CCS in Australia to help their economies decarbonize,” Gallagher said.

Deal with SK E&S

Santos said in a separate statement it has formalized a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on carbon solutions with SK E&S, a unit of South Korean conglomerate SK Group.

The MoU provides for Santos and SK E&S to cooperate in seeking to develop a low-carbon hub at Darwin in Northern Territory after a CO2 storage permit was awarded for G-11-AP, within the Bonaparte basin, off the coast of Western Australia in 2022, it said.

Santos and SK E&S will also collaborate on securing additional CO2 storage including the Bayu-Undan field and develop a transboundary business model to aggregate and transport CO2 from Korea to Australia for safe and secure storage underground, the firm said.

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