Australia Opens New Offshore Carbon Capture Storage Acreage to Reduce Emissions

The Australian Government has released new areas for exploration for offshore greenhouse gas storage to help Australia lower emissions and meet net-zero commitments.

The 2023 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Acreage Release includes 10 areas across seven basins to explore for carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania which already host a variety of offshore exploration and production activities.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the areas had been chosen for their geology and storage potential, and following public feedback, had been shaped to minimise impacts on other marine users and the marine environment.

“The Australian Government is committed to lowering emissions and helping the world to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” Minister King said.

“Both the Climate Change Authority and the International Energy Agency have said CCS will be an important technology to help the world achieve its climate goals.”

The Climate Change Authority has said that strong and urgent emissions cuts, together with the growth in carbon sequestration, are critical if the world is to achieve its net zero goals by mid-century.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has said that CCUS is part of the suite of technologies that will contribute to lowering atmospheric emissions from Australia’s energy system.

The International Energy Agency also recognises that CCS and CCUS will play an important role in helping to achieve net zero by 2050, particularly in hard-to-abate industrial sectors.

Minister King said the government provided A$12 million in the May 2023-24 Budget to review the environmental management regime and examine ways to improve regulations to support offshore CCS projects.