Energy companies Pilot Energy and Triangle Energy have announced they have started an application to build an offshore storage site at the Australian Cliff Head coast. The first offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the country, it could also be one of the world’s biggest.
Offshore carbon capture is an essential part of fighting climate change, said Pilot Energy chair Brad Lingo. “In the Victorian era we used to use our rivers as sewers, we don’t do that anymore and it improved environmental health and safety, and we shouldn’t be treating our atmosphere the same way,” he said.
With the capacity to inject 1.1Mtpa (million tons per annum) of carbon dioxide into offshore reservoirs, The Cliff Head CCS Project would be the eighth biggest CCS site in the world.
According to Pilot Energy, the project aims to permanently store carbon produced from industrial facilities below the ocean bed for at least the next 25 years.
A 2006 legislation in Australia paved a way for carbon capture projects but changing government policies prevented the start of a CCS project until now, Lingo said. “We’ve had a lost decade there, and we’re trying to get back on track,” he said.
Cliff Head, which is located in the Australian Mid-West, is a suitable place for the project because it has existing oil platforms that will provide information on how to inject the carbon dioxide and because of the large shale layer under the ocean bed that will help store the CO2.