Baker Hughes to provide CO2 compression equipment

By Keefe Borden21 December 2021

Baker Hughes will deliver an MCL compressor as part of the agreement with Santos.

Australia’s Santos has granted Baker Hughes a contract to supply turbomachinery equipment for the Moomba Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project. The project will serve a gas processing plant and permanently store 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually (mtpa) in depleted natural gas reservoirs in the onshore Cooper Basin in South Australia, Baker Hughes announced.

Baker Hughes will provide a gas turbine, compressor and heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) to compress the carbon dioxide (CO2). Specifically, the company said it will deliver a PGT25+G4 aeroderivative gas turbine, MCL compressor, and BCL compressor technology, which will enable Santos to compress CO2 captured at Moomba CCS for transportation and subsequent injection for storage.

Baker Hughes said it has provided Santos technology and services for its operations, including turbomachinery and offshore equipment and services for more than 35 years.

Baker Hughes’ broader CCUS portfolio features advanced turbomachinery, solvent-based state-of-the-art capture processes, well construction and management for CO2 storage, and advanced digital monitoring and industrial asset management solutions, the company said.

“This project exemplifies the range of solutions that energy and industrial companies are seeking across the energy transition and how collaboration is needed to lower emissions and enhance efficiencies from their operations,” said Rod Christie, executive vice president of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes. “Through our advanced turbomachinery technology, we are supporting Santos to decarbonize natural gas while providing an opportunity to utilize CO2 as a valuable input for producing reliable energy with advanced blue hydrogen.”

Santos and its joint venture partner, Beach Energy, announced in early November it would proceed with the US$165 million (A$220 million) Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in South Australia, with startup expected in 2024.

Santos has registered the Moomba CCS project with Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator.

The Clean Energy Regulator’s CCS method provides a crediting period of 25 years, over which period the project will qualify for Australian Carbon Credit Units for emissions reduction from Moomba CCS.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher welcomed the Regulator’s registration of this globally significant project.

“This carbon reduction project in the South Australian outback will be one of the biggest and lowest cost in the world and will safely and permanently store 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year in the same reservoirs that held oil and gas in place for tens of millions of years,” Gallagher said.

“We forecast a full lifecycle cost of less than US$24 per tonne of CO2 including cash costs in operation of US$6-8 per tonne of CO2, with first injection targeted for 2024,” he said. “This decision is a critical step in decarbonising natural gas on our path to new low-emissions and clean-burning fuels such as hydrogen. It is also an important milestone in our plan for Santos to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040.”

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) Sustainable Development Scenario requires a hundredfold increase in CCS between now and 2050 to achieve the world’s climate goals – going from 40 million tonnes of CO2 stored each year today to 5.6 billion tonnes in just 30 years time.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said recently that reaching net-zero goals without CCS will be almost impossible.

“If we do not decarbonise the hydrocarbon fuels that still make up just over 80 per cent of global primary energy and provide 60 per cent of the world’s clothing fibers along with other essential everyday products, then the world will simply not reach net-zero by 2050,” Gallagher said.

He added that Santos has already received significant international interest in its CCS and hydrogen plans. “Just as Australian LNG is valued in Asian markets without their own energy resources, carbon storage is now valued because many other countries lack the geological storage or land required for nature-based offsets,” he said.

Santos has a 66.7 per cent interest in the Moomba CCS project and is operator. The remaining interest is held by Beach Energy.

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