With historic global economic growth accompanied by an insatiable thirst for energy, coal and fossil fuels will continue to provide a significant proportion of the world’s energy for the foreseeable future.
It is worth noting that Australia’s coal resources alone, assuming the advent of successful clean coal technologies, are so large that they could be significant in the global energy mix for several hundred years.
I hope this project will encourage community acceptance of CCS and its potential role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While the Otway Basin Project will demonstrate the carbon storage aspect of CCS, the Australian Government is also supporting projects to demonstrate post combustion capture at coal-fired power stations.
These projects form part of our National Clean Coal Initiative.
This initiative will be underpinned by a $500 million Clean Coal Fund.
Together with $1 billion from the coal industry through COAL21, the fund will support total investment of $1.5 billion in the development and deployment of clean coal technologies.
From the CO2 Cooperative Research Centre’s newsletter
Monitoring at the CO2CRC Otway Project, Australia’s first demonstration of geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), has confirmed that the CO2 injected two kilometres below the surface is behaving as predicted.
Instruments at the Naylor-1 monitoring well, 300 metres from the injection site, have detected minute amounts of tracer gases with elevated CO2 content, confirming that
the CO2 is moving through the depleted underground gas reservoir at the rate and in the direction that researchers predicted using computer modelling.
The decommissioned Naylor-1 well was equipped with downhole sensors to monitor the injected carbon dioxide and confirm its arrival in the reservoir. Regular sampling using specially designed equipment has been underway since injection began.
CO2CRC Otway Project manager Sandeep Sharma says that the work put into the extensive monitoring program is now paying off.
“Monitoring and verification of the CO2 storage is a major part of the Otway Project,” he said. “It helps us demonstrate that CO2 can be stored safely and securely under Australian
“The data from the monitoring well is also helping calibrate our computer modelling, ensuring that our monitoring tools are some of the most accurate in the world.”
The monitoring and verification program also includes regular sampling of soil, air and groundwater for CO2 content and has found no evidence of higher levels of CO2.