Carbon Capture and Storage Program

The geological storage of greenhouse gases (geosequestration) is one of many options the Australian Government is pursuing to assist Australia and the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Geoscience Australia's principle role in greenhouse gas storage is to provide advice to the Australian Government on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). The advice will centre on the selection of areas for release for exploration for CO2 storage sites and matters associated with the development of policy and legislation and regulations to allow storage to occur.

To achieve this, Geoscience Australia conducts research into sedimentary basins which have the potential for geological storage, and liaises with the State and Northern Territory Geological Surveys and other agencies to select acreage for release and to consider other issues associated with CO2 storage.

Recent work has involved ranking and categorising Australian sedimentary basins for their potential for geological storage. The work was carried out in close cooperation with the Geosequestration Mapping Task Force set up under the Chief Government Geologists Committee and the Carbon Storage Task Force which was launched by the Minister For Resources and Energy, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP, in July 2008.

To support the recommendation of the Carbon Storage Task Force and offshore release of greenhouse gas acreage, Geoscience Australia has commenced a program of pre-competitive data acquisition and regional geological studies to assess select onshore and offshore basins for their potential to store CO2. Geoscience Australia is working in collaboration with state geoscience agencies to assess select onshore basins for their suitability for geological CO2 storage. The work which is being undertaken under two major Australian Government funded programs - the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI) and National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP) - is designed to accelerate the assessment of storage potential and support take up of exploration blocks by stakeholders.

Geoscience Australia represents Australia on various international bodies including the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF).

Geoscience Australia is also undertaking a joint project with China, under the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate to facilitate technology transfer between both countries on greenhouse gas storage and CO2 capture and storage.

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism External site link has more information on the Australian Government's involvement in C02 initiatives.