Greenhouse gas storage

The injection and permanent storage of greenhouse gas in underground geological formations has not occurred, therefore, it is not regulated in Western Australia. However, this excludes the Gorgon Project for injection and storage of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, which is regulated by a State agreement under the Barrow Island Act 2003.

Aerial view of the construction site for the Gorgon CO2 geosequestration project on Barrow Island
Aerial view of the construction site for the Gorgon CO2 geosequestration project on Barrow Island

The South West Hub project is likely to be the first project operating under Western Australia’s proposed greenhouse gas legislation.

The Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 is designed to amend the petroleum legislation to provide a regulatory regime for the onshore storage of greenhouse gas, which will predominantly be carbon dioxide. These amendments will allow for greenhouse gas storage formation property rights, acreage release provisions, exploration, retention and injection licences, as well as addressing long-term liability issues.

The amendments will result in a title structure for underground acreage with carbon dioxide storage potential similar to the regime for petroleum titles. Greenhouse gas titles will be subject to similar fees and charges that apply for petroleum titles and there is no intention for royalties to apply to the injection and permanent storage of greenhouse gas.

Under the proposed amendments, the Minister for Mines and Petroleum will invite applications for the grant of work-bid greenhouse gas Exploration Permits, and may direct that applications are accompanied by information concerning the volume, source and composition of the gas proposed to be injected. As a measure designed to prevent the warehousing of areas with greenhouse gas storage potential, a work program will need to be provided by applicants and this will form part of the conditions of any Exploration Permit.

There will be three categories of storage formation – potential, eligible and identified.

Existing Petroleum Production Licence holders and Retention Lease holders will have the option to apply for a greehouse gas Injection Licence if any greenhouse gas acreage release overlaps their licence area or lease and they believe their petroleum title contains a potential storage formation.

Ownership of greenhouse gas storage formations will be vested in the Crown and long-term liability will be assumed by the State at least 15 years after the site closure certificate is issued, or if the licensee ceases to exist.

Related information

Below is a list of links that you may find useful.

Carbon Capture and Storage What is CCS? Find out here

Gogon carbon dioxide injection project Access to information on the Gorgon carbon dioxide injection project, which will develop the greater gorgon area gas fields