Gorgon to lead nation's biggest carbon injection effort

Various technical topics related to science, energy, climate change and coal & gas.

Gorgon to lead nation's biggest carbon injection effort

Postby HVPA_research » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:20 pm

A major article in WAToday.com.au gives some not widely known technical details related to the Gorgon natural gas project. It appears that the raw natural gas from the Gorgon deposits is contaminated by large quantities of carbon dioxide. This is not unusual, in the past projects this CO2 was simply released into the atmosphere. Since this is no longer possible because of the climate change considerations, the Gorgon partners are going store the waste CO2 underground.They are also worried about the danger of the gas escape through geological fault lines. Experiences gained in this major geosequestration project could well have implications for both CSG exploration and for proposed CO2 geosequestration in other parts of Australia such as the Hunter Valley.
A pioneering geosequestration effort will go hand in hand with the nation's biggest-ever resource project.
ExxonMobil has already agreed up $75 billion worth of contracts to supply India and China with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Chevron-led Gorgon project at Barrow Island, off Western Australia's Pilbara coast.
And that accounts for just a quarter of the development's potential output of 15 million tonnes of LNG per year ....

.... It's estimated that for every million tonnes of gas extracted there will be an average 70,000 tonnes of CO2.
When the plant is running at capacity, Chevron plans to inject about 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 each year into rocks 2.3 kilometres below Barrow Island, through three or four wells on the surface of the A Class Reserve.
The plan is to sequester 120 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) over the life of the project, storing the gas in a huge underground reservoir measuring up to five kilometres in width....

Curtin University petroleum engineering head Brian Evans, who was involved in the first phases of the Gorgon due diligence review, said Gorgon's carbon geosequestration would be deeper than any other reservoir.
He said it would surpass the 1mtpa injected in Norway at the Snohvit project in the North Sea.
While there was confidence the technology works there could always be surprises, Prof Evan said.
"There's always ifs and buts. The biggest if is what if the CO2 gas finds a fault which was unexpected?" he said.

.... "We don't like that practice and the reason for it is that it means that you didn't really know your reservoir.
"Well, no one is saying that you know your reservoir 2.3km down there."
Barrow Island has a number of nearby geological faults, the largest one, the Barrow Fault, has leaked hydrocarbon sometime in the last 10,000 years.
Chevron are understood to be steering clear of the Barrow Fault just in case.
The fault also seals a billion barrels of oil below Barrow Island's surface.
Prof Evans said fail safe systems were in place to deal with any "surprises"....
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