MELBOURNE, June 23 -- Australian Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson introduced amendments to the country's offshore petroleum law to clear the way for carbon dioxide capture and storage in offshore locations.
The amendments will allow for gas geosequestration from coal or gas-powered electricity generation and other industrial and extractive industry processes.
The bill, introduced in the House of Representatives, focuses on access and property rights for greenhouse gas injection and storage and provides a management system to ensure safe storage.
It also provides a balance with the rights of the petroleum industry when both geosequestration and petroleum production operations are in the same area and possibly using the same reservoir formation.
The impact on fishing, shipping, defence, and telecommunications industries will be taken into account, along with indigenous rights and environmental protection measures.
Ferguson said the initial plan is for carbon dioxide, but other substances may be considered for geosequestration in the future.
He said the bill will provide access to sites and play a key role in accelerating development of the carbon capture and geological storage industry.