The South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project is a leading initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Western Australia.
CCS involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources before they are released into the atmosphere. Captured CO2 is transported to an injection site where it is pumped deep below the surface for permanent storage, a process called geosequestration.
The South West Hub is a staged project that involves collecting and analysing data and samples from the Lesueur Sandstone formation, to test its feasibility as a CO2 reservoir. The Lesueur Sandstone lies in the southern Perth Basin and is the type of saline aquifer identified by scientists around the world as a potential CO2 storage reservoir.
The South West Hub is a partnership between government and industry. Research into the geosequestration is being funded by the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government through the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).
South West Hub stratigraphy
Beneath the Swan Coastal Plain, the Lesueur Sandstone formation stretches from Augusta to Greenough and then extends offshore. The area of interest for geosequestration is located near the South West town of Harvey, approximately 150 kilometres from the State’s capital city, Perth.
The identification of this area followed an Australia-wide search for suitable geological storage reservoirs that occurred near industrial sources of CO2. The potential carbon storage basins have been mapped across Australia.
In the Harvey–Waroona area, geologists have identified an uplifted block in the sequence of strata that brings the Lesueur Sandstone closer to the surface than in the surrounding areas. This area is potentially ideal for storing carbon.
South West Hub research
The South West Hub is well into the project feasibility phase, with each stage of its data collection and analysis dependent on a positive outcome from the previous stage. The Hub is working with research partners Curtin University, The University of Western Australia and the CSIRO through the National Geosequestration Laboratory in Perth.
Researchers have reviewed the data collected during a 2011 2D Seismic Survey, 2012 Harvey 1 stratigraphic well drilling and 2014 3D Seismic Survey. Documents and outcomes from these investigations can be found under the research and reports section of this page.
In order to improve knowledge of the stratigraphy within the project area, three wells were drilled under the Shallow Well Drilling Program that ran from December 2014 to June 2015.
Data analysis, core testing and modelling is underway and due for completion in mid 2016.
Harvey 1 Well
The Harvey 1 well was drilled on a rural property along Riverdale Road, from February to March 2012. The well location was determined following analysis of data collected through an earlier 2D seismic survey conducted in 2011.
The 2945-metre Harvey 1 well was designed to provide core samples and electronic data for detailed analysis.
Data collected from Harvey 1, and the subsequent investigations conducted by independent and respected research institutions, provided positive outcomes for the feasibility of using the Lesueur Sandstone for CO2 storage. Nothing was identified that would preclude this use of the Lesueur Sandstone.
Results from the Harvey 1 Well can be found in two publications: Harvey 1 Stratigraphic Well Early Drilling Outcomes and Harvey 1 Stratigraphic Well Research Outcomes August 2013. More techincal results are available at GSWA Harvey 1 well completion and preliminary interpretation report, southern Perth Basin.
A time lapse of the well's operation during a period of seven weeks can be seen in the accompanying video.
Since Harvey 1 was drilled, several major data collection projects have been conducted for the South West Hub including a complex 3D Seismic Survey and the Shallow Well Drilling Program – return to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for information on these projects.
For more information visit:
South West Hub contacts