The world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project known as Gorgon is continuing to face setbacks, the latest of which are water issues.
Led by multinational fossil fuel corporation Chevron, project Gorgon has been continuously underperforming and failing to deliver on its promise of capturing 4 million metric tons of CO2 per year.
The project is located in Western Australia, at the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project on Barrow Island and is considered to be the world’s largest CCS facility.
It has been operational since the summer of 2019, when injection officially began, and since then, 7 million tons of OC2 equivalent have already been injected underground.
Even so, that amount falls significantly behind the project’s full capacity – Chevron admits that the shortfall is approximately 2.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent.
Chevron stated that the one of the main culprits in the shortfall has to do with regulatory limits on injection rates until late last year.
Managing reservoir pressure on the Dupuy Formation reservoir, where water production rates are lower, was emphasized by the oil and gas giant, with plans currently in the works to optimize pressure management and boost the rate of water production.
Reinjecting the water is a known problem in the Gorgon carbon capture project that was announced earlier this year that is still a major hurdle that requires more attention.
“The CCS part and the CO2 injection is working fine but it’s the water production and water management system that is challenging at the moment. It’s managing it holistically, as a whole [that is proving difficult],” said Syrie Crouch, CCS vice president at Shell (also participating in the Gorgon joint venture), to Upstream.
So far, the Australian CCS project has received over funding of over A$3.2 billion (US$2.17 billion) from its different participants.
And it continues to come under scrutiny given the record amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) Chevron has produced from it and other of its Australian operations only in the third quarter of 2022.