Santos has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with APA Group to collaborate on the potential development of CO2 infrastructure throughout eastern Australia.
The scope of the MOU is to assess decarbonisation opportunities by working jointly to link heavy CO2 emitters and/or CO2 import locations to the Santos-operated carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in Moomba, South Australia.
Santos Energy Solutions executive vice president Alan Stuart-Grant said working with APA, a leading energy infrastructure provider and Australia’s largest pipeline developer, will put Santos in a leading position to accelerate delivery of large-scale, low-cost CCS services to domestic and international emitters.
“I am very excited about the growth potential for carbon storage services at Moomba. Santos has already booked carbon storage resources in the Cooper Basin of 100 million tonnes,” Stuart-Grant said.
“The Cooper and Eromanga Basins have enormous carbon storage capacity, with the potential to store up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 per year for up to 50 years.”
According to Stuart-Grant, the world cannot achieve net zero by 2050 without a large scale-up of CCS and Santos has the expertise and infrastructure to be able to deliver low-cost, large-scale CCS and decarbonisation technologies.
“Santos is seeing surging international and domestic demand for our CCS capabilities in the Cooper Basin and this new partnership will put us in a leading position in what is essentially a new industry which will help drive the decarbonisation of our region,” he said.
“Importantly, it is an industry that can utilise the skills of our existing workforce and secure their jobs for decades to come.
“Beyond the near-term carbon abatement opportunity, this MOU also paves the way for Moomba to become a low carbon fuels hub as technology is unlocked and market demand continues to increase through the energy transition. We are determined to deliver reliable, affordable, lower-carbon energy to our customers.”
The collaboration will include an assessment of CCS pipeline transport routes from key emission sources in Gladstone, Port Bonython, and Greater Sydney to the Moomba CCS facility in the Cooper Basin.
Group executive Energy Solutions Darren Rogers said he was pleased to partner with Santos to assess potential opportunities to develop pipeline infrastructure for their Moomba CCS facility.
“As an Australian energy infrastructure provider, we have great capability to support our customers and other parts of Australian industry to explore the development of CCS projects and which have the potential to support the decarbonisation of our economy and hard-to-abate sectors,” Rogers said.
“CCS is recognised by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to play an important role in reducing emissions in the energy sector.
“We have deep experience and capability in building complex linear infrastructure, having developed thousands of kilometres of pipelines across Australia, which will continue to play an important role in Australia’s energy transition.”
The Moomba CCS project is Santos’ most advanced CCS hub in Australia. Santos believes it has the potential to store up to 1.5 to 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year, subject to production levels, from first injection which is expected to commence in 2024.
These opportunities are subject to necessary internal and external approvals and a longer-form project agreement being negotiated and finalised by the parties.
The Moomba CCS project is the most advanced of Santos’s three planned CCS hubs in Australia, with the potential for Phase 1 to store up to 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
This is an annual volume equivalent to more than a quarter of the emissions reduction achieved in Australia’s electricity sector over the full year to March 2023.
Actual volumes stored at Moomba CCS will depend on gas production levels in the Cooper Basin which in turn will determine the volume of CO2 available for storage. First injection is on track to commence in 2024.
The International Energy Agency 2023 Net-zero update assumes about 6 gigatonnes per year of storage from CCS will be required by 2050 – over 100 times more than today’s operational capacity.
It has also recognised Australia’s competitive advantage in CCS, saying earlier this year that, “Australia is well-suited to large-scale deployment of CCS to facilitate domestic CO2 abatement and support regional emissions reductions.”
Santos and APA are investing their own capital in pursuing this important decarbonisation pathway in Australia to expand the CO2 storage infrastructure needed to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and responsibly from industrial sources, as well as potentially from legacy emissions in the atmosphere through direct air capture.
Santos is forging ahead with plans for decarbonisation and new fuel technologies though the signing of MOUs with various strategic partners.