Daily Management Review

East Timor Wants To Use Carbon Capture Tech In $3.6 Bln Barossa Gas Project


East Timor Wants To Use Carbon Capture Tech In $3.6 Bln Barossa Gas Project
East Timor is trying to cover a multibillion-dollar income hole that will become apparent in 2023 when a depleted oil and gas field off its coast will become defunct and hence the country wants to move through with plans for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at the field.
Since it began producing oil and gas in 2006, the Bayu Undan field southwest of the poor island nation has been the largest source of money for the nation as it has already brought in more than $23 billion.
It is expected that the field, which is presently controlled by Santos Ltd of Australia, will shut down in 2023.
A proposal from Santos suggests making use of the Bayu Undan reservoir for capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the $3.6 billion Barossa project, a new field that it is developing off the coast of northwestern Australia, where particularly high CO2 concentration is present in the gas there in comparison to other projects in the region.
"We are yet to discuss the commercial model for the CCS project. But the government of Timor Leste sees this as a great opportunity not to be missed," said Florentino Soares Ferreira, the president of East Timor's National Petroleum and Minerals Authority.
According to the administration of East Timor, the carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Bayu Undan, which is a first for the country, is critical for the other possible oil and gas projects that the small nations wants to develop with help from foreign companies. 
There is potential to make the development of oil and gas resources and projects carbon neutral by the use of integrated carbon capture and storage which will be in accordance with global targets of cutting down on carbon emissions.
"With CCS we are looking forward to develop a commercial model of carbon economies that is relatively attractive in order to be able to tap into the unlocked resources that we have remaining in gas and oil fields," Ferreira said.
These comments were made by him from Dubai, where he was advocating 18 oil and gas blocks in the hopes of connecting them to the Bayu Undan CCS, which would allow the projects to be made carbon neutral. Bids for this purpose have to be submitted by March 20, 2022.
The Bayu Undan CCS project is projected to cost "far over $1 billion," according to Ferreira.
Santos declined to comment, however, in a recent address, Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher stated:
"We know we have some of the best offshore reservoirs in the region for gas injection."
Barossa is scheduled to begin producing gas in 2025, and Santos has said that Bayu Undan CCS will be ready when the field begins production. It anticipates that the Bayu Undan reservoir will ultimately have the capacity to store 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
"Time is a critical element in this project, and we are committed to allocate our resources to solving this particular challenge," Ferreira said.