CO2CRC Otway Storage Project
Waarre C Formation
The CO2CRC Otway Project is the most advanced storage project in Australia and the world’s largest research and geo-sequestration demonstration project. Stage 1 injected and closely monitored 65,000 tonnes of CO2-rich gas from the Buttress production well. Injection started in April 2008 at a rate of 150 tonnes a day at the depleted natural gas field Waarre C Formation around 2km below the surface. The development of cost-effective storage monitoring technologies formed part of the research. A second research stage began in 2010 with the aim of developing ways to monitor how much CO2 is permanently stored in deep saline formations. The tests concluded in late 2011 and data is currently being analysed.
In December 2011, CO2CRC announced that project results proved storage of CO2 in depleted gas fields was "safe and effective" and that the structures could store significant amounts of CO2.
The project received a major boost in August 2012 when Rio Tinto provided funding of $3 million to support it as a field site for carbon storage research, as part of its support for the Peter Cook Centre - a world-class hub for research into CCS. Another boost came in September 2014 with the Victoria’s Ministry for Energy and Resources funding of an additional $5 million for research in CO2 storage at the Otway site.
The Otway Project features a major monitoring and verification program, which international and national scientists believe to be the most comprehensive of its type in the world. A wide range of monitoring and verification technologies have been installed including down-hole geochemical and geophysical techniques for monitoring the CO2 migrating plume via the existing observation Naylor-1 well. Verification monitoring includes atmospheric, groundwater, soil gas, and geochemical sampling, as well as comprehensive seismic surveys.
The project successfully completed a second stage of research in March 2012, which focused on CO2 storage in saline formations. Research will continue with studies to develop innovative seismic techniques to monitor CO2. The project is expected to run until at least 2015, most likely further after additional funding in 2014.
Researchers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and the USA have worked collaboratively, and the initiative has been financially supported by the Australian Federal Government, the Victorian State Government and the US Department of Energy, as well as CO2CRC members.
CO2CRC, a non-profit research collaboration, includes partners AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, INPEX, Mitsui, Origin, Sasol, Schlumberger, Shell, Total, RioTinto, Solid Energy, Woodside and Xstrata.
Funding boost for further research, 15 September 2014
- Tony Steeper, (CO2CRC, Communications and Media Adviser)