Chevron Australia starts up Gorgon LNG carbon-capture project

Chevron Australia has started up the carbon dioxide-capture system at its Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island off the Western Australian coast.

Chevron Australia has started up the carbon dioxide-capture system at its Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island off the Western Australian coast.

The system takes CO2 removed from the gas supply coming in from offshore Gorgon field and reinjects it into deep reservoirs under the island.

The carbon-capture program was originally scheduled for start-up in March 2017 soon after the LNG plant came on stream a few months earlier, however technical issues resulted in several delays. The problems are believed to have involved valves and pipeline equipment and were discovered during the commissioning phase of the $1.7-billion injection system.

The delays have meant that about 10 million tonnes of CO2 have been released into the atmosphere since December 2016. Despite this, Chevron says the capture facility will reduce Gorgon’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% when it is fully operational.

This will mean capture and injection of 3.4 million-4 million tonnes/year of CO2, which equates to about 100 million tonnes over the 40-year life of the LNG project.

The company is now monitoring the system performance and plans to ramp-up injection volumes during the next few months. It did not specify a timetable for when the project will be operating at full capacity.

The Australian government has paid $60 million (Aus.) towards the capital cost of the project.

Australia emitted 538.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2018, an increase of 0.7% from 2017, mainly due to an increase in LNG exports.

The Gorgon project is operated by Chevron. Other JV partners are ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas, and JERA.

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