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Climate Solutions Fund > News and update - details

Statement on TAI paper on Carbon Capture and Storage

13 December 2021

The Australia Institute (TAI) discussion paper (published 8 December, 2021) on the Santos Moomba carbon capture and storage project makes a number of false and misleading claims.

The paper incorrectly suggests the Moomba Carbon Capture and Storage project registered under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is ineligible under the method because Santos plans to conduct enhanced gas recovery at Moomba.

Enhanced gas recovery is a process whereby carbon is compressed and captured underground and is used to recover gas that would otherwise be difficult to extract from the gas field.

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Carbon Capture and Storage method explicitly rules out emissions reduction projects that include enhanced oil or gas recovery (EOR).

As the TAI report acknowledges, Santos has said publicly it no longer intends to carry out EOR at Moomba.

The TAI claim reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the method rules. The TAI report confuses what the plant may do in the future under its state government environmental approvals and what is allowed under the ERF method.

The TAI report also falsely claims the Clean Energy Regulator did not conduct a thorough assessment of the Moomba CCS ERF project when it was registered.

Rules for ERF project registration are set out in the ERF legislation and in individual methods. The Clean Energy Regulator applies the law for project registration and the ERF as a whole, with a high degree of integrity.

The Clean Energy Regulator registered the ERF Moomba project in accordance with the requirements of the legislation and the method. Specifically, the Moomba ERF project meets the requirement that it not include the injection of greenhouse gases into a storage site which has the effect of enhanced oil, gas or hydrocarbon recovery.

The Carbon Capture and Storage method was developed through a transparent co-design process, which included formal public consultation. The Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee assessed the method and found it met the scheme’s high bar integrity standards.

Media contact: cer-media@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au or call (02) 6159 3448


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