Work starts at CO2CRC’s Otway National CCS Research Facility Stage 3 Project

A drilling rig has arrived at CO2CRC’s Otway National CCS Research Facility, located at Nirranda South in south-west Victoria. This weekend it will start drilling four new 1600-metre-deep monitoring wells which will be equipped with the latest technologies in fibre optics sensing and subsurface gauges.

This work is part of CO2CRC’s Otway Stage 3 Project which will develop sub-surface storage technologies which reduce the cost and environmental footprint of long-term CO2 storage monitoring for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

Once injected underground CO2 is monitored for decades, giving confidence to regulators and the community that the CO2 is staying within the storage site. Traditional methods monitor the CO2 from the surface and can be costly and unable to provide information on a continuous basis. This research project will use technologies which instead monitor the CO2 in the subsurface on an ongoing basis. This means the monitoring techniques have a lower surface environmental footprint, are more cost-effective and provide measurement and imaging data effectively on-demand.

“Initial estimates show the technologies being tested provide a cost saving of up to 75 percent of monitoring costs over traditional monitoring technologies,” said David Byers, CEO of CO2CRC.

“Our hope is that the research will contribute to an acceleration of the deployment of CCS around the world, allowing CCS to play a vital role in reducing emissions across all major industry sectors. As the International Energy Agency points out, without CCS as part of the solution, meeting global climate goals will be practically impossible,” he said.

The $45 million project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Education Investment Fund (EIF), COAL21 through ANLEC R&D, BHP and the Victorian State Government.

Technical and scientific work programs are carried out in partnership with Curtin University and CSIRO and are expected to be complete by June 2022.

– ends –

/Public Release.