APPEA backs Climate Change Authority report on carbon capture technology

Article by Kerry Hebden

THE Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) is backing carbon capture technology after a report by Climate Change Authority (CCA) urged for more support. 

Released following estimates from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that around 6bn t/y of CO2 would have to be removed by 2050 globally, and about 14bn t/y by 2100, for a 50% chance of limiting global warming to below 1.5°C, the CCA’s report contains 23 policy insights designed to help policymakers, emitters and markets to better understand how sequestration can be scaled-up, accelerated and used responsibly. 

Although the report warns that while sequestration is not a panacea for climate change nor a substitute for reducing emissions, it does play an important role in all feasible decarbonisation scenarios. 

Brad Archer, CEO of the CCA, said: “While reducing emissions at source is critical, the extent of the climate challenge means there must be effort directed to sequestration. We need to use all the tools in the toolkit.” 

The report considers a range of carbon sequestration approaches, and notes that most current sequestration comes from familiar biological forms, including forests and oceans acting as carbon sinks. However, despite the challenges associated with geological and mineral carbon sinks, such as cost and the lack of commercial readiness, both CO2 removal and CCUS technologies, if deployed using the best available science, “could offer environmental and economic benefits, particularly for Australia’s regions and First Nations peoples,” the report notes. 

APPEA, a trade group for Australia’s upstream oil and gas industry, said the industry supports the CCA’s calls for greater direction and support for CCUS technologies, but notes that government leadership is critical.   

Samantha McCulloch, CEO of APPEA, said: “Governments around the world are rapidly increasing their support for CCUS, with the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States a game changer providing significant financial incentives for large-scale deployment of the technology… Australia has an opportunity to not only accelerate to net zero but also create a new industry and ride the wave of global momentum for CCUS.” 

APPEA has already called for Australia’s government to develop a national plan for CCS after it set new limits on heavy industry in a push for greater decarbonisation.  

The insights contained in the CCA report are a summary of earlier work conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO), commissioned by the CAA and the Clean Energy Regulator, and other related reports on carbon sequestration. 

Up and coming CCUS projects

Some companies have already announced their intentions for CCUS projects in Australia. Back in March, Chevron said that its New Energies division had signed an MOU with Japan’s energy giant JERA, to provide a framework for their collaboration on carbon capture and storage projects located in Australia, and the US. 

Although details on a forthcoming project were scant, the duo are already collaborating on the potential co-development of lower carbon fuel in Australia, but said they wanted to leverage their joint expertise and long-standing partnership to actively develop CCS projects around the world. 

Gaku Takagi, executive officer at JERA, said: “Under its 'JERA Zero CO2 Emissions 2050' objective, JERA has been working to reduce CO2 emissions from its domestic and overseas businesses to zero by 2050. JERA and Chevron have worked together to bring stable and reliable LNG to our customers over the years, and this CCS collaboration further demonstrates our strong commitment to advance lower carbon solutions.” 

Article by Kerry Hebden

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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