The South East Australia Carbon Capture Hub

Esso Australia is undertaking early front-end engineering design (pre-FEED) studies to determine the potential for carbon capture and storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from multiple industries in the Gippsland Basin.

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The South East Australia Carbon Capture Hub

ExxonMobil established its Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialise the company’s extensive lower-emission portfolio with the objective to create long-term shareholder value and support global emission-reduction efforts. 

Low Carbon Solutions is focused on commercialising lower-emission business opportunities in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and lower-emission fuels, by leveraging the skills, knowledge and scale of ExxonMobil. 

As part of this, and as announced by ExxonMobil in April 2022, Esso Australia is undertaking early front-end engineering design (pre-FEED) studies to determine the potential for carbon capture and storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from multiple industries in the Gippsland Basin.

Collaboration with other industries is an important step to unlock future carbon capture and storage opportunities for Australia, with the potential for large-scale reductions in the highest emitting industrial sectors. We are in active discussions with local industries which may be interested in accessing the SEA CCS hub to reduce emissions from their operations.

Carbon Capture and Storage

Carbon capture and storage is the process of capturing CO₂ emissions from industrial activity or power plants at the source and injecting it into deep underground geologic formations for safe, secure and permanent storage.  

It is among the few proven technologies that could enable reduced CO₂ emissions from high-emitting and hard-to-decarbonise sectors, such as power generation and heavy industries, including manufacturing, refining and petrochemicals.

ExxonMobil has more than 30 years of experience capturing CO₂ and has cumulatively captured more human-made CO₂ than any other company. It has an equity share of about one-fifth of the world’s carbon capture and storage capacity at about 9 million metric tons per year.

The SEA CCS Hub

The South East Australia carbon capture (SEA CCS) hub would initially use existing infrastructure to store CO2 in the depleted Bream field off the coast of Gippsland, Victoria.

The initial phases of the SEA CCS hub will take CO2  from the Longford Gas Plants to the Bream A platform, where it will be permanently injected into the Bream reservoir.

It has the potential to capture up to 2 million metric tons of CO2 – that’s equivalent to taking almost half a million cars off the road for every year of operation.

How the South East Australia Carbon Capture Hub could work

Previous gas re-injection at Bream

Our previous experience re-injecting gas into the Bream field and detailed knowledge of the reservoir makes it the ideal location for Gippsland’s first CCS opportunity.

When the Bream A and B platforms were initially developed in the 1980s and 1990s, natural gas was considered a by-product of oil production, and was reinjected back into the Bream reservoir.

In response to the growing demand for natural gas, Esso Australia later installed a gas pipeline, which delivered natural gas from Bream to Australia’s east coast from 2002 to 2020.

During the last 10 years of production, Esso Australia safely re-injected natural gas produced at the Longford Gas Plants during summer into the Bream reservoir, drawing on the gas during winter, when the need for gas on Australia’s east coast is greatest. This demonstrates the suitability of Bream for permanent injection and storage of CO2.

Opportunities for other high-emitting industrial sectors

In 2009, an Australian Government taskforce identified Gippsland as the most attractive region for CCS in Australia. 

Collaboration with other industries is an important step to unlock future carbon capture and storage opportunities for Australia, with the potential for large-scale reductions in the highest emitting industrial sectors.

Esso Australia is in active discussions with companies who may be interested in accessing the SEA CCS Hub to reduce emissions from their operations.

We are eager to hear from industry stakeholders interested in exploring how the SEA CCS hub could support their emissions reductions goals.