Not a member? Sign up for regular news and updates SUBSCRIBE

SUMMARY

The government opened acreage offshore for the storage of greenhouse gases.

By Daniel Graeber

The Australian government said December 6 that it was opening up offshore areas for the storage of harmful greenhouse gases.

Australian minister for resources and water Keith Pitt said acreage off Western Australia and Northern Territory was on the auction block as part of the government’s 2021 offshore greenhouse gas storage plan.

“This is Australia’s first greenhouse gas acreage release since 2014 and it provides a pathway for future carbon capture and storage projects,” Pitt said.

Bids for the offshore acreage are to be submitted to the federal government between March 4, 2022, and March 10, 2022. On offer are five storage locations in the Bonaparte, Browse and Northern Carnarvon basins.

Australia’s most recent path on the energy transition was related to hydrogen. The state government of Western Australia in November signed a memorandum of understanding with the Port of Rotterdam to collaborate on production, storage, transportation and the use of renewable hydrogen.

The state hydrogen industry minister, Alannah MacTiernan, said the government has already committed A$160mn ($114.4mn) to support the development of a renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia.

Pitt, meanwhile, said the federal government views technology, not taxes, as the best way to reduce emissions.

“Carbon capture, use and storage is one of the priority technologies we are developing,” he said. “The proximity to gas fields and existing infrastructure provide opportunities for industry partnership and collaboration, further industrial development and the creation of jobs.”