The Otway Project in Victoria has demonstrated CO2 can be stored safely underground in Australia The Callide Oxyfuel Project in Queensland is the largest demonstration of oxyfuel technology in the world to date The IEA says CCS is a critical component in the portfolio of low-carbon technologies combating climate change The IEA expects CCS to contribute 14% of global emissions reduction by 2050 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says without CCS, the cost of reducing emissions to 2100 increases 138% Canada’s Boundary Dam – the first large scale CCS project in the power sector – began operation in October 2014 Since 1986, the Sleipner Project has been storing a million tonnes of CO2 per year in the North Sea

International activities

Carbon dioxide capture technology has been employed for separating the CO2 sometimes found in natural gas reservoirs from the saleable methane gas since the 1920s.

In the early 1970s some CO2 captured in this way from a gas processing facility in the USA was piped to a near-by oil field and injected to improve oil recovery. That process, known as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), has proven very successful and millions of tonnes of CO2 – both from natural accumulations of CO2 in underground rocks and captured from industrial facilities – are now piped to and injected into oil fields around the world every year. Examples include:

  • Val Verde Natural Gas Plants, USA (1.3 Mt/y / commenced 1999)
  • Enid Fertilizer CO2 EOR Project, USA (0.7 Mt/y 2003) and
  • Century Plant, USA (8.4 Mt/y / 2010).

EOR projects assist in demonstrating the technology needed for greenhouse gas storage as an emissions mitigation tool.

Examples of pioneering CO2 storage and monitoring efforts into saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas wells include:

  • Sleipner in Norway (injecting since 1996)
  • Snøhvit also in Norway (injecting since April 2008)
  • Great Plains Synfuel Plant and Weyburn-Midale in Canada (injecting since October 2000)

Strong progress is also being made in expanding carbon capture and storage projects around the world. So far there are 22 large-scale CCS projects in operation or construction around the world with a combined capacity to capture up to 40 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.

The first large-scale CCS project in the power sector, SaskPower’s Boundary Dam project in Canada, began operation in October 2014. The second, Southern Company's Kemper County project in the USA, is nearing completion with operation planned to commence in 2016. The third, the Petra Nova project in the USA, is under construction with operation planned to commence in 2016. These are of global significance as they show CCS operating at commercial scale in the power sector.

In the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage Project is the world’s first, large-scale CCS project in the iron and steel sector. The CO2 is to be transported 45 km for injection into Abu Dhabi National Oil Company reservoirs for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). This project is in construction.

In Australia, the Gorgon LNG project is on track to be the largest CO2 geological storage project in the world. This project, currently under construction in Western Australia, plans to commence injection in 2016 of between 3.4 and 4.1 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

The following table summarises some leading large scale global carbon capture and geological storage projects.

Abu Dhabi Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage Project CO2 capture (from Direct Reduction Iron facility) with Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) & storage Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 0.8 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) CO2 capture used for EOR US$122.5 M for CO2 dehydration & compression facility only Note: Direct Reduction Iron facility already removes CO2. This stream is currently vented Execution (expected capture from 2016)
Boundary Dam Sub-critical coal Shell Cansolv PCC Retrofit Saskatchewan, Canada 110 MW
US$1.13 B
World’s first large scale project
Operational 2014
Gorgon LNG Project Pre-combustion capture / amine capture process Barrow Island, Western Australia 3.4 - 4.1 MTPA
Saline Reservoir
US$2 B
World's largest commercial-scale CO2 injection facility
Construction (commence injection 2015)
Kemper County IGCC coal
Pre-combustion New-build
Mississippi, USA 582 MW
3.5 MTPA
US$6.2B Construction (commence injection 2016)
Petra Nova Sub-critical coal Mitsubishi Heavy Industries PCC Retrofit Texas, USA 250 MW
1.4 MTPA
US$1 B
World's largest post-combustion CO2 capture (PCC) system for an EOR project
Construction (commence injection 2016)
White Rose Supercritical coal Oxyfuel Newbuild North Yorkshire, UK 448 MW
Saline Reservoir
To be defined as part of FEED Define Stage (FEED)
Yanchang Integrated CCS Gasification Pre-combustion New-build Shaanxi, China 0.46 MTPA from chemical production EOR To be defined as part of FEED First capture phase began in 2012 and pilot injection testing under way Define Stage
Peterhead CCGT
PCC Retrofit
Scotland, UK 385 MW
Depleted Gas Reservoir
To be defined as part of FEED Define Stage (FEED)