Australia’s Woodside-led North West Shelf Venture has been awarded an offshore greenhouse gas assessment permit over the depleted Angel gas field with a view to using the area for geological storage of carbon dioxide.

Although production at the Angel field was terminated in 2020 by the venture, Woodside said today that the venture has extensive existing data and knowledge of the field following many years of petroleum exploration and production.

Ideally a multi-user carbon capture and storage (CCS) project would be located there to deal with emissions from various existing sources, the company added.

The new permit, labelled G-10-AP, covers 1775 square kilometres in the Northern Carnarvon basin of Western Australia.

A CCS project would have the potential to help develop new lower carbon industries, such as the production of hydrogen and ammonia, by providing a local solution to cope with emissions, added Woodside.

The size of the CCS facility is subject to the completion of additional technical, regulatory and commercial studies, but notionally it could have a processing capacity of up to 5 million tonnes per annum of CO2.

Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill said the new permit was another key step toward the development of a pioneering, multi-user CCS project near Karratha.

New life: offshore greenhouse gas assessment permit awarded over the depleted Angel gas field. Pictured, the Angel platform. Photo: WOODSIDE

“The successful deployment of CCS in Western Australia has the potential to create new jobs, protect current jobs and contribute to achieving greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. For Woodside, it will be an important addition to our portfolio of carbon management options, as we work towards our own aspiration of net zero by 2050,” she said.

Woodside, BP Shell, Chevron and Mitsui-Mitsubishi will each hold a 20% participating interest in the permit, with Woodside as operator.

Earlier this week, Woodside was awarded two other offshore greenhouse gas assessment permits; one over its Calliance field in the Browse basin and the other a permit operated by Inpex in the Bonaparte basin.

“These permits allow us to progress feasibility work on CCS in the Browse and Bonaparte basins,” said O’Neill.

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