ExxonMobil is beginning early front-end engineering design studies for a potential carbon capture and storage hub in Southeast Australia’s Gippsland basin, with a potential request for bids on the way.

The US supermajor said it is still in discussion with local emissions-intensive industries that could source carbon dioxide for sequestration in the depleted Bream field in the Gippsland basin off the coast of Victoria.

Although it is still early in the pre-FEED process, ExxonMobil told Upstream that it will likely put out bids for engineering, procurement and construction contracts.

“Collaboration with other industries is an important step to unlock future carbon capture and storage opportunities for Australia, with the potential for large-scale reductions in the highest emitting industrial sectors,” said Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions.

“Sound government policies will accelerate the deployment of key technologies required to support society’s ambition for a net-zero future.”

The project could capture up to 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year with a start date as early as 2025.

ExxonMobil also holds a 25% stake in the Gorgon CCS project in Australia, which had issues in meeting injection targets in the 2021 financial year. The Australia government had imposed injection limits on the Chevron-led project due to issues with the start-up of the project’s pressure management sites.

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