Both the gas and oil industry rely on carbon capture and storage. It combines a range of technologies, all of which require technologies that are commercially available. It’s all about limiting greenhouse emissions. There are three processes that make up carbon capture and storage. To effectively reduce greenhouse gases these processes need to be coordinated.
The first process is to separate carbon dioxide. In gas processing, this process is widely practised. This is to meet the specifications of pipelines. For example, Norway has been following this practice since the early 90s. As a result, they have stored 16m tonnes of carbon dioxide instead of seeing it released into the air.
The second process is compressing the carbon dioxide. It is then transported to a site for storage. The general transportation method is via pipeline. It may also be shipped.
The third process is injecting carbon dioxide into a suitable geological receptacle to prevent it hitting the atmosphere. Geological formation storage has been used to enhance the recovery of oil. By the close of 2016, almost 30m tonnes of carbon dioxide were being stored annually. There are an additional four projects reaching completion and this will add almost nine million further tonnes each year.
A report from the International Panel for Climate Change suggests that without carbon capture and storage, the cost of achieving the targets as laid out in the Paris Accord could cost 138% more. For Australia, the focus of carbon capture and storage activity is to understand our geological formation storage sites and the conditions they are in. Major funding has been injected into projects to this end. Research continues to understand the role of infrastructure, technology, and more.