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Time's up on Chevron's Gorgon CCS

July 19, 2021
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New data has been released today about the taxpayer subsidised carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility at Chevron’s Barrow Island LNG export facility.

Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Executive Director Piers Verstegen commented that "transparency has never been a feature of this project. From the information that has been released it appears that over its first five years of operation, the CCS facility has captured and injected only half what the company originally promised and what is required is under Ministerial Conditions.

"This means the CCS project would have reduced its total direct carbon emissions from the Gorgon facility (the biggest polluter in Western Australia) by around 10% since commencement. 

"When much larger carbon emissions from burning the gas produced by the Gorgon LNG project are included, the CCS project will have reduced the total pollution from the project to date by less than 2%.

"The Chevron case demonstrates that CCS is not a viable solution to mitigating carbon pollution from oil and gas projects on its own, and should not be used as a means to allow continued expansion of these industries here in Western Australia or anywhere else in the world. 

"Ongoing and unresolved problems with the CCS facility at Barrow Island mean that it is still not operating at its promised capacity, and there is no indication from Chevron when, or if, it ever will.

"CCWA is calling on Minister Sanderson and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) to fully enforce the conditions set out in the Ministerial Statement and prosecute Chevron for breaching its Ministerial Conditions.

"The Barrow Island LNG facility should be required to cease or scale back operations until Chevron can demonstrate the CCS facility can operate as intended. Chevron should also be required to provide alternative offsets at a minimum for the shortfall of approximately 5 million tonnes of carbon pollution released into the atmosphere due to the failure of the CCS facility," Mr Verstegen said.

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