Geological Carbon Storage Exploration Tender
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Applications for exploration permits to explore for storage formations suitable for geological carbon storage in two areas within Victorias Gippsland Basin were opened on 30 October 2009. Applications closed on 5 March 2010. No bids were received for area GCS09-1. Bids on area GCS09-2 are being assessed.
The location of the two areas is shown on the map below.
Carbon storage is an integral component of carbon capture and storage (also referred to as CCS).
Research into the potential of this area for geological carbon storage has been undertaken by a number of organisations and by the Department of Primary Industries.
The Gippsland and Otway Basins have been identified by research organisations as having some of the best potential for geological carbon storage in Australia.
The Gippsland Basin is adjacent to the Latrobe Valley which contains brown coal fired power stations that produce about 65 million tonnes of greenhouses gases that account for around 50 per cent of Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of Gippsland is already subject to some form of exploration licence.
The Exploration tender
Companies wishing to explore areas for geological carbon storage potential will need to apply for an exploration permit and submit a work program.
Initially, exploration will be carried out by non-invasive seismic surveys, which determine the earths properties through measurement of seismic waves (much like an ultrasound does). If these surveys indicate suitable geological formations exist, the company may ask for approval to undertake drilling to further confirm the suitability of an area for the safe storage of CO2.
The company will be required to consult with the community throughout this process. This is an obligation of receiving an exploration permit.
It is a legal requirement that a permit application includes a community engagement plan that provides:
general information about the types of activities planned for the area
information about how any potential adverse impacts will be managed
details of the procedures that are to be followed under the Greenhouse Gas Geological Sequestration Act 2008 and any other Act
a statement advising that members of the community and relevant municipal councils that they may seek independent legal advice
current contact information for the Department and the applicant
a list of stakeholders relevant to the application
details of how the community and relevant municipal councils were engaged in preparing the consultation plan
details of how the applicant will consult with members of the community and relevant municipal councils during the life of the exploration permit.
If companies are successful in their bids to explore these areas Victoria will be better placed to understand the geological feasibility of CO2 storage potential in the Gippsland Basin.
Knowledge of the on-shore geological storage potential of the Gippsland Basin will complement work being undertaken off-shore to explore storage potential in Commonwealth waters.
Future decisions to inject carbon in suitable geological formations will be governed by strict environmental and community safeguards set out in the Greenhouse Gas Geological Sequestration Act 2008. To access the Act and Regulations please visit www.legislation.vic.gov.au.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information about the geological carbon storage exploration tender, please see the Geological Exploration Tender FAQs
For general information on carbon capture and storage, please see the Carbon Capture and Storage Q&A.
To obtain further information about carbon storage or to make a comment, you can:
For futher reading and viewing:
- CCS's Potential to Reduce Victoria's Carbon Emissions
- 2008 fact sheet: Carbon Capture and Storage: Putting the Carbon Back
Also available as a PDF: Carbon Capture and Storage: Putting the Carbon Back
- CO2 CRC Otway project video
- Zero Emissions City of the Future video by the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technology
- Australian Coal Association resources on climate change and CCS