Energy Club

Northern Territory

Santos pushing on CCS

03 Apr 2020 5:47 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

SANTOS has no plans to defer any spend on its carbon capture and storage development in the Cooper Basin, despite cutting $550 million in capex this year, chairman Keith Spence said during the company’s virtual annual general meeting today. 

It has entered front-end engineering and design for the project after spending $20 million drilling a couple of wells last year.  

There are no firm figures on how much the project, designed to eventually inject 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 underground per year, might cost but chairman Keith Spence estimated today in the hundreds of millions.  

It recently signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with BP for CO2 cooperation, on the sidelines of a CO2CRC meeting in Canberra.  

BP in early March signed a non-binding agreement electing to possibly spend A$20 million at Santos' CCS project contingent on a positive final investment decision.  

Santos joined the CO2CRC at the beginning of last month, behind Woodside Petroleum, Chevron, BP, Shell and BHP, and was then hoping to sanction its CCS project before the end of the year.  

It would see an initial 300,000 tonnes of CO2 sent back into the reservoirs natural gas was originally pulled from, which will ramp up to 1.7 million tonnes per annum at full capacity.  

Santos estimates it can do this for A$30/t and later bring costs down further.  

Spence said the CO2, stripped from the natural gas at its Moomba plant, and transported to the nearby fields makes it an initially low cost project.  

‘We'll drive it down to $20 per tonne," Spence said. For it to be viable there needs to be a price on carbon and for scale up government support the way the renewables industry has received subsidies.  

CCS has, of course, received a lot of government support in previous decades though those projects never proved viable.  

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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