Energy White Paper Inquiry NSW Government urged to join CO2CRC

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					                                                                                 AUGUST 2004, Issue 01
Energy White Paper Inquiry
The Senate's Environment, Communications, Information Technology
and the Arts References Committee will table a report on the budgetary
and environmental implications of the Government's Energy White Paper             1 Energy White Paper
on 2 September.                                                                     Inquiry
The tabling of the report will follow submissions from the community              1 NSW Government urged
and public hearings on the 4 and 5 August in Canberra.                              to join CO2CRC
Unhappy with the lack of emphasis in the Energy Paper on alternative              2 Sharing Information
technologies, the Democrats spokesperson for Energy and Resources, Lyn              Resources
Allison, prompted the inquiry.
                                                                                  2 Looking for people who
In statements following the release of the White Paper, Senator Allison             want to make a
said that geosequestration made sense, but the Energy statement failed to           difference
provide any momentum to support the further growth or development of              3 Double Celebration
the renewable and alternative fuel industry.
                                                                                  3 Catalyst Feature on
The Committee's web address is                                                      Geosequestration
                                                                                  3 New Staff

NSW Government urged to                                                           4 The Mount Gambier
                                                                                    Volcanic Region:
join CO2CRC                                                                         Scientific Marvels &
A major industry body has recommended that the NSW Government                       Analogues - Max Watson
become a CO2CRC partner. The peak mining industry association, the                6 Dr Peter Cook awarded
NSW Minerals Council, told the State Government in a submission on the              the 22nd Lewis G Weeks
NSW Greenhouse Strategy Discussion paper that a partnership with                    Memorial Gold Medal
CO2CRC would be a significant step in addressing emission reductions in
the stationary energy sector.                                                     6 Significant Benefits for
                                                                                    New Zealand Partner
"Ultimately, implementing and facilitating new energy generation systems
                                                                                  7 WA Senator Replaces
using coal-fuelled Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle and carbon
                                                                                    Federal Environment
dioxide capture and underground storage should be a high, long-term
priority for the government," the submission said.
                                                                                  7 Climate Change Group
"To this end . . . the NSW Government should consider direct participation
                                                                                    Releases Report
in major research, development and demonstration programs with such
technologies, namely the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for                    7 Clean Coal Report
Greenhouse Gas Technologies and the CRC for Coal in Sustainable                     Launched
Development."                                                                     8 Conferences of
The submission went on to say that the priority technologies that offer             Significance
the best prospect for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are CO2 capture           8 Upcoming Events
and geosequestration, coal gasification, oxy-fuel combustion and ultra
clean coal.
A copy of the Submission is located at:

                     Sharing Information Resources
                     Welcome to the first CO2CRC newsletter, and my particular thanks to
                     Carmel Anderson and Lee-Anne McFadden for compiling and
                     publishing it. I think they have done a great job.
                     Effective information sharing helps us keep abreast of the research
                     priorities of CO2CRC, makes us aware of what is happening in the
                     broader community and assists us all in making better use of the
Peter Cook           resources available within the CRC.
As a busy and relatively new CRC there are many innovative research projects being
explored and still to be developed.
Max Watson's work on the Caroline CO2 accumulation, near Mt Gambier, is a case in point.
This edition of Unsequestered features an overview of Max's work on the Caroline CO2 gas
accumulation near Mt Gambier, which is very important as an analogue for geological
storage of CO2.
The Federal Government's Energy White Paper, which was released in June, has led to
increased interest in CO2 geosequestration. On Page 1, there is an introduction to a paper
from the NSW Minerals Council. The paper calls on the NSW State Government to seriously
consider CO2 geosequestration as an option for addressing greenhouse gas mitigation.
The media too have had their interested piqued on the subject with a steady stream of
inquiries following the White Paper. The ABC Science Unit is currently researching the CO2
geosequestration (Page 3), with a great deal of assistance from Barry Hooper, for its Catalyst
TV program.
Also, I should mention that we are developing a number of exciting business opportunities
through our commercial arm, Innovative Carbon Technologies. We will be outlining some
of those in the months ahead.
We want to make this newsletter a valuable information resource for CO2CRC staff by
sharing your news and that of your colleagues with the whole CRC. Contributions about
your work and associated CO2CRC activities for inclusion in the newsletter can be sent to
our communication manager, Carmel Anderson (

Peter Cook
Chief Executive, CO2CRC

Looking for people who want to make a
Geoscientists, engineers, chemists, chemical engineers, economists and PhD students are
being sought in a new CO2CRC recruitment round prompted by an expanding research
The recruitment round began recently with an advertisement in The Weekend Australian
(24-25 July). CO2CRC is looking for people who can work on research development and
commercial activities. Full details available in the careers section of the CO2CRC web site Applications close on 15 August, 2004.

                          Double Celebration
                          CO2CRC PhD student, Kaia Little, has had double the reason to
                          celebrate over the past few months.
                          Currently working with Simon Lang and Tobias Payenberg on
                          strata mapping in the Otway Basin, Kaia was one of three
                          Australians to win an American Association of Petroleum
                          Geologists grant to assist with her fieldwork.
                          Her second reason to celebrate resulted from an invitation to
Kaia Little               deliver a presentation at the World Energy Congress Youth
                          Symposium to be held in Sydney in September.
The Youth Symposium theme is Energy in a Sustainable Society: Perspectives from the
Younger Generation.
About 200 students and young professionals from more than 100 countries will attend
the Symposium where they will deliver short presentations on their research-related
Kaia’s paper is titled CO2 Geological Storage: A Review of the Various Storage Methods
and Their Status Within Australia.
Kaia says that the symposium will be a good opportunity to discuss relevant energy
issues with colleagues from around the world.
"I hope to broaden my research ideas and knowledge through discussions with the other
"I will value the different perspectives on sustainable energy and its implementation that
I will receive from people both in the geological storage field and from other disciplines."

Catalyst Feature on
                                                                New Staff
                                                                CO2CRC Canberra has two recent
CO2 geosequestration has attracted a lot of interest            additions to their staff. They are
from the ABC since the launch of the Federal                    the Executive Assistant to Peter
Government's Energy White Paper.                                Cook,     Judy    Chaffey;    and
It has received coverage on The 7.30 Report, Lateline,          Communication Manager, Carmel
and ABC TV's National News. The ABC’s Science Unit              Anderson. Judy has spent her first
recently ran a piece on the Saturday morning program            few weeks developing an
The Buzz and will soon produce a 15-minute program              electronic list of all CO2CRC's
for the TV science show, Catalyst.                              employees,     researchers    and
                                                                external stakeholders, while
If all goes according to plan, the program, which is            Carmel      is    working     with
expected to feature research work being conducted               government and industry on a
at Monash and Clayton campuses and field trip                   communication       and     media
around the Caroline/Mt Gambier area of South                    strategy for the upcoming CSLF
Australia, is likely to be screened around the time of          meeting and CO2 geosequestration
the September CSLF ministerial conference in                    public consultation programs.

 The Mount Gambier
 Volcanic Region
 Scientific Marvels & Geosequestration
 Analogues - Max Watson

Mount Gambier is an area of scientific mystery and amazement in terms of
understanding natural accumulations of CO2 sourced from volcanic activity.
The Caroline CO2 accumulation, near Mt Gambier, is one of the most pure CO2
accumulations is Australia with ~98% of the total gas being CO2. The Caroline gas facility
has been producing CO2 since 1968, two years after it was discovered. In terms of
commerciality, CO2 sales from this single well have been more profitable than any other
well, CO2 or hydrocarbon, in South Australia, including the Cooper Basin.
Of more interest to we 'CO2ers', is that the Caroline-1 well has been producing CO2 since
the late 60s and yet, the wellbore show no signs of major corrosion by CO2.
Due to the dry nature of the supercritical CO2 in the reservoir (<20% water saturation)
and the reasonably short residence time of the CO2 (~7000 years); CO2-related reservoir
rock alteration and wellbore corrosion is minimal.
Compare this to the shallow CO2 gas fields of Florina, Greece, where extreme CO2
reactions mean annual drilling of new wells. Or a local example at the Garvoc CO2
accumulations, where CO2-water-rock interaction has led to ~99% alteration of feldspars,
calcite and other labile minerals to kaolinite, siderite and quartz.
It is clear to see that gaining an understanding of the Caroline CO2 gas accumulation is
very important as an analogue for geological storage of CO2.
Using a combination of carbon and helium isotopes from the Caroline gas, plus carbon
isotopes from the precipitated carbonates in the Caroline reservoir rock, we have
determined that the CO2 reservoir is sourced directly from magma degassing, the same
magma that formed the Recent Newer Volcanics ( 7000 - 1000 years).

At surface the Newer Volcanics includes the Mt Gambier and Mt Schank volcanoes. This
leads us to another mystery, the Mount Gambier Volcanic Crater Lake, and why the water
keeps going blue.
Mount Gambier is the second-most recent volcano in Australian, with the most recent
eruption occurring 5000 years ago (Mount Schank, 2km south, has the most recent
volcanic eruption and last erupted ~4900 years ago).
The excavated maar crater, with a 5km circumference, is now a volcanic lake, and is the
local township's water supply. Interestingly, the water in this volcanic lake changes from
a drab grey colour to a vivid blue colour between November and March each year. This
change in water colour can be explained by the effect of CO2.
As CO2 degasses from the magma and migrates to surface it reacts with the Mount
Gambier Limestone. This reaction dramatically increases the concentration of calcium
dissolved in the water. The change in temperature of the Ca-rich lake causes the calcium
to become supersaturated and precipitate out of solution.
Micro-crystallites of calcium carbonate refract the sunlight to the blue wavelength light
that is seen. There are other theories. One suggests that the water picks up a blue dye as
it works its way through the porous limestone base; and another, that microscopic
organisms come to the surface as temperatures rise. But these theories do not have the
scientific backing that the carbonate refraction theory has, nor do they involve CO2
The Caroline CO2 gas field and the Mt Gambier volcanics are just one of many examples
of where natural occurrences of CO2 can act as analogues for geological storage of
CO2. The members of the CO2CRC geochemistry team hope to bring you many more
exciting installments on natural analogues as we continue our research into CO2 'burps
in the earth'.

Dr Peter Cook: The 22nd
Lewis G Weeks Memorial
Gold Medal, April 2004.
The APPEA medal recognises
outstanding contributions to the
development of the petroleum
exploration     and    production
industry in Australia. The award
commemorates Dr Lewis Weeks
who undertook pioneering work in
Bass Strait, as well as making a
number of other international
exploration achievements.

Significant Benefits for New Zealand
The New Zealand Resources Consortium, comprising Geological and Nuclear
Sciences (GNS), Solid Energy and Genesis Power, will contribute $A1.75 million
over the next seven years to CO2CRC to investigate CO2 geosequestration.
                            GNS Hydrocarbons Section Manager David Darby
                            said the partnership had the potential to deliver
                            significant benefits for New Zealand.
                            "Globally, CO2 sequestration is one of the hottest
                            topics in geosciences. The GNS involvement in
                            this rapidly developing field is an exciting
                            development," Dr Darby said.
                            "New Zealand's storage potential is vast. As well
                            as depleted oil and gas fields, there are deep
                            saline aquifers and unmineable coal seams.
                            Carbon dioxide storage may even lead to
                            enhanced oil and gas production from depleting
                            hydrocarbon fields."
Dr Darby said GNS researchers would contribute new skills to the
CO2CRC including expertise in complex petroleum reservoirs, active faulting
and risk assessment.
"In turn, the New Zealand investment will be enormously leveraged to resolve
issues such as identifying the best sites for subsurface storage in New
Zealand's complex geological environment."
Pictured left: Huntly Power Station. Image courtesy of GNS.

WA Senator Replaces
Federal Environment Minister
The Prime Minister, John Howard, has appointed a new Minster for the Environment and
Heritage, following the recent resignation of David Kemp.
He is the WA Senator Ian Campbell formerly the Minister for Territories, Local Government
and Roads.
Senator Campbell's previous experience with the portfolio includes a stint as Parliamentary
Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and to the Minister for Sport, Territories and
Local Government from 11 March to 11 November 1996.

Climate Change Group Releases Report
The Australian Climate Change Group, convened in 2003 by the WWF and the Insurance
Australia Group, released a report recently on options for addressing climate change.
Titled Climate Change - Solutions for Australia the report considers a range of solutions to
global climate change including fuel switching, energy conservation, innovation in new
technologies and emissions trading.
CO2CRC Chief Executive, Peter Cook, believes the Group's report is on the whole balanced,
but regrets that CO2 geosquestration was omitted as a climate change solution.
"Since CO2 geosequestration can make large cuts into greenhouse gas emissions, it would
have been worthy of inclusion in the report," Dr Cook said.

Clean Coal Report Launched
Clean coal technologies offer a route to an ultra-low emissions future, while allowing the
continued use of the most abundant and affordable of all fossil fuels - coal.
This is the message of a new World Coal Institute report, Clean Coal - Building a Future
through Technology, released in the first week of July at a European Parliament Clean Coal
Seminar held in Brussels.
The Chief Executive of the World Coal Institute, Malcolm Keay, said Clean Coal - Building a
Future through Technology described the coal industry's ongoing technical response to the
environmental challenges it faces, the core elements of which included eliminating CO2
"The development of zero emissions technologies has commenced and is accelerating
The coal industry has achieved a great deal already and further substantial and sustained
gains are an important goal for the industry worldwide. Through the continued deployment
of existing clean coal technologies and research and development of next-generation
technologies, further major improvements in the environmental performance of coal can
and will be achieved.
The report is available at:

Conferences of Significance
CO2CRC has the chance to showcase its work on CO2
geosequestration at two upcoming international conferences, the
Carbon Sequestration Leadership Conference in Melbourne in
September and the Seventh International Conference on
Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT7) both to be held in         Core Research
Both Peter Cook and capture expert John Bradshaw will be official
technical spokespeople at the CSLF in addition to Peter's role in
                                                                       Curtin University
leading discussions on CSLF endorsed projects and the technical
                                                                       Geoscience Australia
                                                                       Monash University
A number of CO2CRC staff, including Andy Rigg and John Bradshaw,       University of Adelaide
will present papers on their carbon capture and storage research at    University of Melbourne
the GHGT7.                                                             University of New South Wales

                                                                       Core Industry &
Upcoming Events
                                                                       Australian Coal Research
TBA Senate Committee report on Chief Scientist issued                  BHP Billiton              BP Developments Australia
                                                                       Dept. of Primary Industries (Vic)
August 20 CSLF Technology Roadmap working meeting, Salvador, Brazil.
                                                                       New Zealand Resource Consortium
                                                                       Rio Tinto
September 5 - 9 GHGT 7, Vancouver, Canada.                             Shell                                                   Stanwell Corporation
September 5 - 9 19th World Energy Congress and Exhibition, Sydney.     Xstrata Coal
                                                                       Supporting Participants
September 13-15 CSLF Ministerial meeting, Melbourne.                   Australian Greenhouse Office                                     CanSyd
                                                                       Meiji University
                                                                       The Process Group
                                                                       University of Queensland
CO2CRC Canberra Office:                                                WA Dept. of Industry & Resources
                                                                       Whistler Research
GPO Box 463, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA
Ph | +61 2 6200 3366         Fax | +61 2 6230 0448
To submit material for the next edition of Unsequestered email
Carmel Anderson at:


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Description: Energy White Paper Inquiry NSW Government urged to join CO2CRC