South Korea eyes Australia CCS after future becomes more certain

Pilot Energy showcases WA’s first offshore CCS project

CCS facilities

CCS facilities Credit: Shutterstock/Keshi Studio

ASX-listed Pilot Energy is set to host an Australian government-supported delegation for South Korean companies at its Mid-West Clean Energy project near Geraldton in Western Australia this Thursday. 

The project's first stage will convert the depleted Cliff Head offshore oil field into a permanent carbon dioxide storage operation, with a capacity of more than 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of CO2 from 2026. It is expected to have over 50 million tonnes of potential total storage capacity, making it one of the top 10 CCS projects globally, claimed the commpany.

"In a show of support for the CCS in Australia and especially Western Australia, the delegation is on the sidelines of the Australia-Korea CCUS Industry Seminar in Perth," Pilot said in a statement on Monday.

"All delegates on the Pilot Energy exploratory tour have expressed [an] active interest in carbon capture, utilisation and storage to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a key means to support South Korea's net zero targets."

The clean energy-focussed company aims to export over 1 mtpa of low-cost, clean ammonia from blue and green hydrogen.

"The project has also been designed to incorporate the future supply of hydrogen into WA's domestic energy market," Pilot said.

"Pilot is very close to securing approval from the Australian regulator National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) after it became the first company in Australia to lodge a submission seeking regulatory approvals for an offshore CCS project under legislation that has been in place since 2006."

The company expects the Commonwealth to approve the ‘Declaration of Storage Formation' for the Cliff Head field in the coming weeks.

Western Australia backs carbon capture

Western Australian government passed a key CCS Bill through the state's Legislative Council earlier this month.  

The Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 aims to strengthen WA's petroleum legislation and supports the government's plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

WA premier Roger Cook says the bill will provide opportunities for WA-based industries to decarbonise by offering a legislative framework for the transport and geological storage of greenhouse gases.

The endorsement also allows for exploring naturally occurring hydrogen and supports underground petroleum storage and pipeline additive blending.

Federal government's $556 million funding commitment 

In the same month, The Australian government announced a $566 million investment in new offshore mapping programs, including a plan to identify new CCS locations and possible sites for clean hydrogen projects.  

The funding aims to deliver data, maps, and other tools to help the resources industry make new discoveries with the full mapping of Australia over the next generation.

Policymakers in most of the world's advanced economies have committed to decarbonise, and Australia's leaders are no exception.

Crucially, CCS could be the magic bullet needed – potentially a very effective solution to the decarbonisation and net zero challenges, as ENB's CCS Report 2024 found.  


A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.


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