Chevron Australia has reached a significant milestone at its Gorgon LNG facility, injecting five million tonnes of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide equivalent, CO2e) since the system started in August 2019.
The milestone represents the largest volume of injection achieved within this time frame by any environmental carbon capture and storage (CCS) system of comparable specifications. Injecting five million tonnes of CO2e is equivalent to taking more than 1.6 million passenger vehicles off Australia’s roads for a year . Once fully operational, the system is expected to capture up to four million tonnes of CO2 annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100 million tonnes over the life of the injection project.
The system works by taking naturally occurring CO2 from offshore gas reservoirs and injecting it in a giant sandstone formation two kilometres under Barrow Island, where it remains permanently trapped. It prevents millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases from being vented into the atmosphere.
Chevron Australia Managing Director, Mark Hatfield, said the Gorgon CCS system is the biggest CCS system designed to capture carbon emissions and is demonstrating Australia’s world-leading capability in the area. However, he said while the system had delivered significant reductions in Gorgon’s emissions, the time taken to start the system meant Chevron had not met injection requirements.
“Chevron is working with the WA regulator on making up the shortfall and will report publicly on that later in the year,” he said.
“Like any pioneering endeavour, it takes time to optimise a new system to ensure it performs reliably over 40-plus years of operation.”
“The road hasn’t always been smooth, but the challenges we’ve faced – and overcome – make it easier for those who aspire to reduce their emissions through CCS.”
Mr Hatfield said Chevron is committed to sharing the lessons it has learned with state and federal governments, research institutes and other energy producers to assist the deployment of CCS in Australia.
“CCS is a proven technology which experts agree is critical to achieving a lower carbon future while ensuring access to affordable and reliable energy for billions around the world who rely on it,” he added.
The Chevron-operated Gorgon Project is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (47.333 per cent), ExxonMobil (25 per cent), Shell (25 per cent), Osaka Gas (1.25 per cent), Tokyo Gas (1 per cent) and JERA (0.417 per cent).
 Based on estimation light vehicles (cars, 4x4s, SUVs and small commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes) emit 3 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year. Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.