Oil companies squabble over CO2 dumps


Success in life extension work by Bass Strait operator Esso has prompted the ExxonMobil subsidiary to predict that the region still had more than 20 years left of oil production and more than 30 years of gas, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (30/7/2007, p.22). A $400 million seismic data and infill drilling program, involving wells at the Kingfish, Bream, Halibut and Fortescue fields, was adding 30,000 barrels of crude oil to daily production, worth close to $1 billion a year on current prices. But Esso’s success had implications for the planned $5 billion Monash Energy coal-to-liquids project in the Latrobe Valley, a joint venture between Shell and Anglo American.

Feds pump money into CO2 dump demos: The potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Bass Strait’s reservoirs was the subject of a Federal Government-funded study by Monash that found there was massive storage capacity in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs or in deeper geological structures.

NIMBY says Esso: But success in the Esso infill program suggested that the implementation of CCS in Bass Strait could be further off than first thought, given the intention of draft legislation that existing oil and gas production not be affected by licences issued for CCS. Monash countered that there was "still no new information to challenge the initial conclusion that hydrocarbon extraction and CCS can be entirely compatible activities in the Gippsland Basin [Bass Strait]".

The Sydney Morning Herald, 30/7/2007, p. 22

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