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Renew Economy:

The operator of Australia’s only commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project has conceded the project has failed to meet its targets, and is now seeking a deal with Western Australian regulators on how to make up for millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide it failed to store.

On Monday, Chevron announced that it had finally succeeded in sequestering five million tonnes of carbon dioxide at its carbon capture and storage facility at the company’s Gorgon LNG plant.

While Chevron celebrated this as a “significant milestone” for the project, it falls well short of what was promised to regulators when the massive $70 billion LNG project was first announced in 2009.

The storage project is supposed to be capable of storing at least 80 per cent of the carbon dioxide produced by the Gorgon LNG facility, or around 4 million tonnes a year. The storage was one of the key conditions for state government approval.

Chevron is understood to have spent more than $3 billion building the carbon capture facility, but it took several years after the start of gas production for the Gorgon CCS project even to begin operation due to delays and technical difficulties. The first CO2 was injected into an undersea deposit in 2019.

The project encountered further difficulties after its commissioning, with sand clogging parts of the storage system and dramatically reducing the amount of carbon dioxide it was able to inject underground.

[Michael Mazengarb]

More: Chevron concedes CCS failures at Gorgon, seeks deal with WA regulators

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