Australia plans to scale up its capability for offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS) and seek public opinions on a new round of greenhouse gas storage areas, as reported by Reuters on May 16. Madeline King, Australian Resources Minister, announced at an industry conference that there is still significant potential to expand the country’s offshore CCS capabilities. In 2022, she issued the first two licenses for offshore CCS projects in 14 years. Madeline also revealed that Australia is implementing policies for broader industrial use of CCS projects, with the aim to establish a robust and responsive regulatory system for offshore CCS.
A recent policy paper from Australia’s Climate Change Authority (CCA) emphasized the importance of CCS in achieving Australia’s net-zero target by 2050. The document recommended that governments explore risk-sharing approaches, including opportunities for co-investment in subsurface basin analyses for geological sequestration, as well as essential infrastructure for storage and transport. Australia’s oil and gas industry has also called for a national CCS roadmap to provide clear policy guidance, advance carbon management hubs, and position Australia as a regional leader in carbon storage. Meg O’Neill, CEO of Australian oil and gas giant Woodside [WPL:AU], recently expressed frustration over the insufficient support from the government for CCS. According to O’Neill, the complete regulatory framework offshore CCS is still not in place, hindering progress on the company’s plans to develop two CCS project in Bass Strait and in Western Australia.