The Gorgon carbon dioxide injection project is an important part of the Gorgon Gas Development Project, which is developing the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
With a predicted project lifespan of more than 40 years, the injection project is expected to be the largest long-term CO2 storage project in the world.
The Chevron-led Gorgon Joint Venture (GJV) plans to inject 3.3 to 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year into the Dupuy Formation, a geological layer more than two kilometres beneath Barrow Island.
The GJV started injecting CO2 in early August 2019.
A range of monitoring, reservoir management and uncertainty management activities are used to monitor the movement of carbon dioxide in the subsurface.
The Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) will monitor the performance of the project over the long term. This will include:
- Ensuring compliance with the Barrow Island Act 2003 (WA) section 13 approval conditions in collaboration with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
- Ensuring compliance with the Pipeline Licence (PL 93).
- Reviewing the GJV’s predictive reservoir models and subsequent revisions.
- Reviewing geophysical, near surface groundwater and soil gas monitoring data – comparison with baseline.
- Reviewing the injection operations data and compliance with approval conditions.
- Reviewing the post-injection decommissioning plans and monitoring implementation.
- Ensuring prior to handover of liability to the State, the project has no risk after closure.
The injection project was granted approval by then Premier Colin Barnett on 14 September 2009. The Barrow Island Act was the first legislation regulating carbon dioxide storage (geosequestration) in the world.
The Gorgon Project has the capacity to export approximately 15.6 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and provide Western Australia with up to 300 terajoules per day (TJ/d) of domestic gas, and 2000 petajoules (PJ) in total.
The approval to sequester the reservoir CO2 is regulated under section 13 of the Barrow Island Act 2003 and administered by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI). However the requirement to sequester the Gorgon reservoir CO2 is regulated under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 and administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).
Approval for transportation of the CO2 via pipelines and the operation of injection wells is regulated under the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969 and administered by DMIRS.