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CO2 categorised as industrial waste in London Convention; likely to restrict disposal in sea-bed, says AGO repor

Posted by gasweek on 17 October, 2007

On one view CCS (carbon dumps) may be viewed as contravening the spirit of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) – conversely, the FCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) might be used to support the argument that prevention of release of gaseous carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by CCS was consistent with UNCLOS, according to “A Report to the Australian Greenhouse Office on Property Rights and Associated Liability Issues, 2005” (8/8/2007, p.113).

CO2 ‘industrial waste’: ” … when the 1996 Protocol enters into force, it will supersede the London Convention as between parties to the 1996 Protocol which are also parties to the London Convention. However, Australia will continue to be bound by the London Convention in relation to nation-states that do not fall into this category. Accordingly, the application of both the London Convention and the 1996 Protocol to CCS is considered below. With respect to the London Convention, some commentators have suggested that carbon dioxide would likely be categorised as industrial waste, which is defined in the Convention as ‘waste materials generated by manufacturing or processing operations’ (Annex 1).

Restricting disposal: “If this is the case, the London Convention is likely to restrict the opportunities for the ‘disposal’ of carbon dioxide under the seabed. However, such views are not definitive, and it remains unclear whether carbon dioxide would be considered a waste for the purposes of the Convention. In addition, as previously mentioned, it is unclear whether the London Convention covers sub-seabed disposal of wastes (this is not an issue under the 1996 Protocol). In contrast, the 1996 Protocol does not contain the prohibition on ‘industrial waste’. Nevertheless, the reverse-list of allowable materials, which is essentially identical to the list contained in the London Convention, would likely mean that the same restrictions would apply when addressing the Protocol,” the report added.

Reference: Carbon Capture and Storage Section 6 – “A Report to the Australian Greenhouse Office on Property Rights and Associated Liability Issues, 2005”, p.113.

Contact: The Communications Director, Australian Greenhouse Office, Department of the Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601. Email:


Posted in CO2 Dump, CO2 dumps, Federal, Geosequestration, Greenhouse Trades, International, Law, Volume 2604 | Leave a Comment »

Money from heaven: NSW Government to subsidise its very own Delta Energy, and pay CSIRO, to build CO2 dump for Munmorah with ammonia absorption

Posted by gasweek on 9 October, 2007

According to Marian Wilkinson, in The Australian, (27/7/2007, p.7), a NSW Munmorah CO2 dump plan to using ammonia absorption to strip CO2 from coal pollution was an initiative of the state-owned power generator, Delta Energy, and the CSIRO. The owner of the plant – the NSW Government hoped it could advance to a demonstration plant by 2008.

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Posted in CO2 dumps, NSW, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

No CO2 dumps in Bass Straight: ExxonMobil and BHPB already at work beyond Kipper from a new platform linked to its existing Marlin structure

Posted by gasweek on 5 October, 2007

According to Keith Orchison, in The Australian, (29/9/2007, p.9) ExxonMobil and BHPB were already at work on the next project beyond Kipper — the development of the Turrum field, estimated to hold 800 billion cubic feet of gas, from a new platform linked to its existing Marlin structure. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, CO2 dumps, Emissions, Gas, Volume 2603 | Leave a Comment »

Santos assumes carbon credits and seeks $275 million freebie for CO2 dump, 60km north of Moomba

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

According to Nigel Wilson, reporting in The Australian, (19/9/2007 p. 40), the Coal21 conference in the Hunter Valley was told last week the first phase of the plan to store carbon dioxide in a depleted gas reservoir would require a total investment of $700 million. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in CGGT, CO2 dumps, Emissions, Gas, SA, Volume 2601 | Leave a Comment »

Taking the fizz out of carbon dumps: ONC in Australia plans to earn carbon credits using urea, from natural gas, as an ocean fertiliser

Posted by gasweek on 21 September, 2007

Despite some concerns, the Ocean Nourishment Corporation in Australia was moving ahead with its plans to use urea as an ocean fertiliser, wrote Ian Jones, head of the Ocean Technology Group at the University of Sydney, Australia, and director of the ONC in New Scientist (15/9/2007, p.44). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Australia, CO2 Dump, CO2 dumps, Gas, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

CO2 dump approved: Chevron Australia puts cost for storage scheme and first 10 years of operations at $850 million

Posted by gasweek on 19 September, 2007

Chevron Australia general manager Colin Beckett said his company’s Barrow island project, to put carbon dioxide underground to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, would be larger than any other geosequestration scheme currently contemplated or in production, reported The Mercury (8/9/2007, p. 15).

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Posted in CO2 Dump, CO2 dumps, Policy, Regulation, Remediation, Volume 2520, WA, Western Australia | Leave a Comment »

CO2 dump rules in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland: none appear to deal with earthquake, water quality or leak risks, or, long-term liability

Posted by gasweek on 19 September, 2007

South Australia had amended the Petroleum Act 2000 to include CO2 as a regulated substance which can be transported by pipeline. This Act also provides for the granting of a licence to store CO2 in natural reservoirs.

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Posted in CO2 Dump, CO2 dumps, Gas, Geosequestration, Law, Policy, Regulation, Volume 2520 | Leave a Comment »

Gorgon partners, Chevron and ExxonMobil and Shell: 20-year contract term Shell to sell 1 million tonnes of LNG a year to PetroChina

Posted by gasweek on 18 September, 2007

Shell and PetroChina concluded a binding heads of agreement for the long­term supply of LNG “with the primary source being the Gorgon gas project”. Shell and PetroChina would work to conclude and execute a detailed LNG sale and purchase agree­ment before December next year, conditional on a final investment decision by Gorgon partners, Chevron (50 per cent), and Ex­xonMobil and Shell (25 per cent each), reported The Australian, (5/9/2007, p.29).

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Posted in China, CO2 dumps, Geosequestration, Greenhouse Trades, LNG, Volume 2520, Western Australia | Leave a Comment »

APEC-hurry-up to CO2-dump approval, gives piece of the profits to Japan: as WA approves Chevron’s Gorgon dump

Posted by gasweek on 18 September, 2007

West Australian Environment Minister David Templeman issued environmental approvals and imposed 36 conditions on the undertaking and Chevron Australia managing director Jay Johnson said the company was in talks with Japanese customers about taking a minority equity stake in Gorgon. “Chevron has been working with three Japanese customers and there are provisions for equity participation and purchase of LNG from Chevron,” he said to The Advertiser, (8/9/2007, p.86).

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Posted in CO2 Dump, CO2 dumps, Japan, LNG, Policy, Volume 2520, WA | Leave a Comment »

Australian Federal Parliament Committee proposes subsidies for CO2 dumps; then, dump investors to get profits and tax-payer, to pay for leaks, 950-year management

Posted by gasweek on 15 September, 2007

It had been advised that the technological unknowns in cost estimates made industry investment in CCS on a wide-scale unlikely in the current environment, said the Federal House of Representative’s Standing Committee on Science and Innovation in its report titled Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration.

Financial incentives, clear regulatory regime both required: “Industry has called for economic incentives, including a carbon price signal, to foster the development of CCS technology,” the report said. “The Committee recommends that the Australian Government employ financial incentives, both direct and tax based, in an effort to encourage science and industry to continue developing and testing CCS technology. The Committee also maintains that the Australian and state governments must develop appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks covering the injection of CO2 and subsequent operational monitoring, site closure and post-abandonment monitoring. This will provide confidence for investors to undertake large-scale CCS development.”

Long-term liability addressed: “The issue of long-term liability is of particular concern,” said the report. “Regulations need to be flexible and robust enough to apply to the sequestration and storage of CO2 which is intended to be in place for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Regulations for financial liability need to be designed to cover both the period during which the CO2 is being sequestered and the period after the injection process has ceased. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Australian Government, following industry consultation, develop legislation to define the financial liability and ongoing monitoring responsibilities at geosequestration sites.”

Reference: Between a rock and a hard place: The science of geosequestration. House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Science and Innovation, August 2007, Canberra. For Media comment: contact the Committee Chair, Mr Petro Georgiou MP. Phone (02) 6277 4419 or the Deputy Chair, Mr Harry Quick MP. Phone: (02) 6277 4304. For information: contact the Committee Secretary. Phone: (02) 6277 4150. Issued by: Liaison and Projects Office, House of Representatives. Phone: (02) 6277 2392. Copies of the report can be obtained from the website:

Erisk Net, 13/8/2007

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Shell and Anglo American versus Esso in Victoria CO2-dump war: Shell and Anglo own the waste-CO2, and Esso owns the CO2-holes

Posted by gasweek on 15 September, 2007

Success in life extension work by Bass Strait operator Esso has prompted the ExxonMobil subsidiary to predict that the region still had more than 20 years left of oil production and more than 30 years of gas, reported The Sydney Morning Herald (30/7/2007, p.22). A $400 million seismic data and infill drilling program, involving wells at the Kingfish, Bream, Halibut and Fortescue fields, was adding 30,000 barrels of crude oil to daily production, worth close to $1 billion a year on current prices. But Esso’s success had implications for the planned $5 billion Monash Energy coal-to-liquids project in the Latrobe Valley, a joint venture between Shell and Anglo American.

Feds pump money into CO2 dump demos: The potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Bass Strait’s reservoirs was the subject of a Federal Government-funded study by Monash that found there was massive storage capacity in depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs or in deeper geological structures.

NIMBY says Esso: But success in the Esso infill program suggested that the implementation of CCS in Bass Strait could be further off than first thought, given the intention of draft legislation that existing oil and gas production not be affected by licences issued for CCS. Monash countered that there was “still no new information to challenge the initial conclusion that hydrocarbon extraction and CCS can be entirely compatible activities in the Gippsland Basin [Bass Strait]”.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 30/7/2007, p. 22

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