If Chevron, Exxon and Shell Can’t Get Gorgon’s Carbon Capture and Storage to Work, Who Can?


By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler

Back to the drawing board!!

27 April 2022 (IEEFA):

At a cost of more than A$3 billion, Gorgon, the largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the world has failed to deliver, underperforming its targets for the first five years of operation by about 50% finds a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

Carbon capture technology has historically been used as a method of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) – selling captured CO2 to oil companies to push more oil out of depleted wells, making any initial “carbon capture” negligible. According to the Global CCS Institute, about 73% of carbon capture globally is currently used for EOR projects – called Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).

In some newer projects like Western Australia’s Gorgon CCS, instead of being sold for EOR, the captured CO2 is sequestered in dedicated geological storage structures. Although Gorgon’s gas plant produced its first LNG cargo in March 2016, the first CO2 injection from its CCS facility occurred in August 2019 — three and a half year late.

“Gorgon CCS failed to reach its pre-defined targets,” says report author LNG/gas analyst Bruce Robertson. “CCS technology has been operating for 50 years. If Chevron and its partners can’t get it to work these past 5 years at Gorgon, it’s not an effective technology for reducing carbon emissions.”

Gorgon recently agreed to buy and surrender credible greenhouse gas offsets recognised by the West Australian Government to offset its target shortfall of 5.23 million tonnes of CO2.

“It has been estimated that it would cost up to US$184 million for Chevron and its partners to offset that shortfall,” says Robertson.

“Rather than continuing with fossil fuels and the technological impracticalities of trying to capture their pollution, governments and investors must address the root cause, and limit fossil production. “Urgent investment in renewable energy and storage technologies is the cheaper and proven pathway going forward.”


Carbon capture may one day work effectively, but we clearly cannot rely on it now.

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Frank from NoVA
May 15, 2022 6:04 am

Short answer: No one. But the real tragedy is this:

‘Gorgon recently agreed to buy and surrender credible greenhouse gas offsets recognised by the West Australian Government to offset its target shortfall of 5.23 million tonnes of CO2.’

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 15, 2022 6:09 am

It’s worse than we thought.

J Mac
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 15, 2022 11:14 am

RE: Green house gas offsets
A Ministry of Misinformation non solution to an environmental non problem.

May 15, 2022 6:15 am

“Rather than continuing with fossil fuels and the technological impracticalities of trying to capture their pollution, governments and investors must address the root cause, and limit fossil production. “Urgent investment in renewable energy and storage technologies is the cheaper and proven pathway going forward.”

That is known as throwing good money after bad. A ‘double down’ irrational action by people who should know better.

Reply to  ATheoK
May 15, 2022 6:53 am

Indeed as there are no cheap storage technologies. The cost at utility scale is astronomical.

Reply to  David Wojick
May 17, 2022 1:00 am

Spread a bit of iron dust on the surface of the oceans, especially in dead zones most in need of fertilization, and the plankton will take care of the CO2 that seems to be driving some people crazy.

At least the biosphere will benefit if the alarmists are desperate to be seen doing something for the environment.

Reply to  ATheoK
May 15, 2022 7:30 am

irrational action by people who should know better.”

The statement you quote was by the author of the report who claims to specialize in “climate economics” so it’s hard to know if indeed they do know better!
I don’t have a clue what climate economics is except perhaps that the numbers don’t have to add up.

Last edited 4 months ago by DaveinCalgary
Dave Fair
Reply to  DaveinCalgary
May 15, 2022 9:01 am

There is only one “economics.” The moment a people forget that they are headed to becoming a Third World workers’ paradise.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 15, 2022 9:12 am

C’mon Dave, you know there’s no such thing as objective reality, just beliefs predicated on one’s race, gender, etc. Please get yourself right with the post-modern world we live in!

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 15, 2022 10:49 am

Yeah, he probably thinks there are only two sexes too.😯

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  DaveinCalgary
May 15, 2022 10:44 am

As near as I can figure, irrationality is a requirement to be an official member of the climate Scientology, whichever branch.
Just ask our mindless bobble head mayor

Go Flames

May 15, 2022 6:25 am

“How Many Petroleum Products Did You Use Today?”


Reply to  mwhite
May 15, 2022 6:37 am

Did they include “personal” lubricants?

Reply to  Scissor
May 15, 2022 7:40 am

There is “hand lotion” mentioned amongst all the products listed. Does that count?lol.

Reply to  RevJay4
May 15, 2022 8:20 am

Oh yeah, I had forgotten hands.

Reply to  mwhite
May 15, 2022 6:53 am


And having rehearsed some new material in the studio at the back of my house, I’m happy with today’s Carbon footprint

Reply to  mwhite
May 15, 2022 10:13 am

All cosmetics are made from fossil fuels. Women everywhere should stop buying and using them. Their vanity is no longer acceptable in today’s world.

Reply to  Doonman
May 15, 2022 10:56 am

Do that and you’ll see women grazing in berry patches and fields looking for natural dyes and ointments. Should be amusing to see.

Reply to  Doonman
May 15, 2022 1:15 pm

You will get a mangy looking bunch of gals.

Reply to  Doonman
May 15, 2022 3:22 pm

I remember being a uni student and wondering why women wear makeup and perfume. A friend suggested it was because they are ugly and they smell.

I wonder if he will ever fully recover from the virtual slapping and death stares he received from the surrounding crowd of adult female humans.

Reply to  mwhite
May 15, 2022 1:14 pm

All I could use at the time. Petroleum is magical, not only a source of fuel, but also of building blocks for useful chemicals.

Ron Long
May 15, 2022 6:37 am

Who agreed to this nefarious scheme to rob plants of their “food”? I want atmospheric CO2 to reach about 1,000 ppm, allowing the earth life-forms to survive the next glacial cycle. What would be the reaction if some mis-guided group started removing water from the surface and injecting it into deep geological structures (not including injection for secondary oil recovery)? I vote to leave atmospheric CO2 alone.

Paul S.
Reply to  Ron Long
May 15, 2022 9:39 am

If we could sequester the CO2 down to around 220 ppm, we would all die. Sounds like a great idea to me!!?!??!

Reply to  Ron Long
May 17, 2022 1:08 am

I totally agree. I wonder how long it will take for the public at large to notice that climate doomsday won’t come any sooner than practical, economic fusion rapture, and that a little warmer and greener is a very nice climate change prediction!

May 15, 2022 6:40 am

Were there any actual (and trustworthy) references for the “cheaper and proven” comment at the end for RE and storage? Seem like whoever wrote that could use a little refresher in English, because that ain’t right.

May 15, 2022 6:49 am

CO2 is not ‘pollution’.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  fretslider
May 15, 2022 3:41 pm

But we use “emissions” and play in their sandbox!! CO2 is natural product of combustion of carbon fuels, along with H2O. Stop caling it emissions, or pollution which it is not.

May 15, 2022 6:57 am

Or the plant operators are smart and responsive to price signals.

If the gas plant doesn’t work, they’re out of business. If the CCS fails, they’ll maybe pay a fine. Guess which is higher priority.

The same technology with different financial incentives works fine.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
May 15, 2022 6:57 am

I’m sure the Green Blob will say the evil oil companies are sabotaging the development of CCS. 🙄

May 15, 2022 7:15 am

Trees are a good source of carbon sequestration.

John Hultquist
Reply to  CO2Greens
May 15, 2022 7:49 am

Yes. And cut, split, and dried trees make a warm fire; in a glass fronted wood stove there is a mesmerizing view.

Dr. Bob
May 15, 2022 8:04 am

I read this report on Gorgon and found it lacking in any detail that would explain why the project failed to deliver. There are a great many factors that can contribute to a failure of a project, and it may not have to do with the “CCS” technology itself. It may be due to the geologic formation underlying the project. If the geology isn’t right, it cannot accept CO2 injection or accept it at the rate needed. But that is geology, not a condemnation of the concept.
I know of a number of projects that have acceptable geologic formation for injection of CO2. The technology does work, but in the right locations with the right engineering and financial returns.
Remember, companies are injecting CO2 mostly because of the financial returns for doing so. There are IRS 45Q credits, Low Carbon Fuel Standard Credits, and other financial reasons for including CCS as part of a larger project. If it is not profitable to do something, it will most likely not be done.

oeman 50
Reply to  Dr. Bob
May 15, 2022 8:46 am

Amen, Dr. Bob. The technology to separate CO2 from natural gas is well established. The “storage” side, not so much. I am not a geologist, but I have learned that all geology is local.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Dr. Bob
May 15, 2022 9:17 am

Because their profits come out of our pockets over our objections, it’s nothing but theft!!!

Reply to  Dr. Bob
May 15, 2022 9:27 am

The main problem is that the brine withdrawal (pressure maintenance) wells keep sanding up. This has restricted the CO2 injection rate. Chevron is in the process of rectifying the sanding issue.

Otherwise, the CO2 injection wells are working as planned.

Reply to  Dr. Bob
May 15, 2022 6:32 pm

Examples or references please.

CD in Wisconsin
May 15, 2022 8:09 am

“Urgent investment in renewable energy and storage technologies is the cheaper and proven pathway going forward.”


Proven pathway? Proven to reduce CO2 emissions?

Has anyone done a study that demonstrates that solar panels and wind turbines prevent more CO2 from entering the atmosphere than without them? Does the study that shows that solar panels and wind turbines save more CO2 than was emitted from mining the raw materials for them, from manufacturing them, and from transporting them and installing them on site?

When trying to answer those questions, let us not forget the amount of cement that is used to anchor wind turbines in the ground. Let us also not forget that the silicon for solar panels requires coal or natural gas in its manufacture — which emits more CO2. Are the costs of solar and wind turbine farms justified by the amount of CO2 that is not emitted?

And then there are the storage batteries.

As for claim that wind and solar are cheaper, it is my understanding that the cost of fossil fuel backup plant operation for them is not taken into consideration when determining wind and solar energy costs. How convenient for them that they can do that.

I acknowledge that such a study is probably made more complex when considering the location of the solar panels and wind turbines and how much electricity they would conceivably produce in their lifetimes. Nonetheless, if no one in government, the energy industry nor anyone else have ever done that study, it is probably because they already know what the conclusions will be.

And they know they probably won’t like them.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
May 15, 2022 2:20 pm

Most of the various minerals required for these new technologies generally occur in low concentrations requiring a large amount of raw material to be mined to extract a small amount meaning an ever increasing area having to be mined.

May 15, 2022 8:11 am

Firstly, the Gorgon CCS component has only been fully operational since 2019.

Secondly, the problems with Gorgon have nothing to do with the CO2 injection wells.

The problems are with the brine withdrawal (pressure maintenance) wells and the LNG facility rarely operating at full capacity.

The brine withdrawal wells keep sanding up. This was unexpected. This has reduced the CO2 injection rate. Chevron is working on fixing the sanding issues, presumably by either recompleting or re-drilling the brine injection wells to add sand control.


Last edited 4 months ago by David Middleton
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2022 9:11 am

Well it lived up to my expectations but nobody asked me.

A likely story with the sand when everybody knows we’re running out of sand and the blame for that rests clearly on all those solar panels.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2022 9:15 am

‘The brine withdrawal wells keep sanding up.’

Reverse fracking?😀

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
May 15, 2022 9:22 am

It’s an issue with poorly consolidated sandstone. We have horrific sand issues in the Gulf of Mexico (Miocene, Pliocene & Pleistocene). This is why most wells have to be completed with gravel packs or other sand control measures.

Last edited 4 months ago by David Middleton
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2022 9:24 am

The Gorgon sandstones are Jurassic-aged. Sanding was not expected to be an issue.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2022 9:52 am

Yup. There was much gravel packing in Egypt, particularly where a certain party needed to maximize production over a relatively short period of time.

Old Cocky
Reply to  David Middleton
May 15, 2022 2:48 pm

Yes, the article did seem to indicate delays in becoming operational.

The additional information regarding the problems encountered adds context. Thanks for that.

May 15, 2022 8:41 am

Planned parent/hood (e.g. reproductive rites) for forward-looking carbon capture. A wicked solution, but an effective means to optimize the desired fitness function: anthropogenic emissions.

Last edited 4 months ago by n.n
May 15, 2022 8:42 am

To put it charitably, it was a stupid idea to begin with and is obviously a solution in search of a problem.

Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  Wharfplank
May 15, 2022 10:34 am

Exactly! If you start with a fraud (CO2 causes climate change) and use it for government subsidized boondoggles the only outcome can be economic failures. Whether carbon sequestration or “renewable energy” or EVs, the starting point is stupid so all the consequences will be negative.

May 15, 2022 8:44 am

Representative Crenshaw you needs to understand that ca bin capture is futile rather than support it.

michael hart
May 15, 2022 8:48 am

I’m slightly surprised they reached 50%.

May 15, 2022 10:07 am

Gorgon recently agreed to buy and surrender credible greenhouse gas offsets recognised by the West Australian Government to offset its target shortfall of 5.23 million tonnes of CO2.

I want to see some effects from all this carbon dioxide offsetting. The reduction of CO2 emissions worldwide has been going on a long time now, ever since Kyoto. I know for a fact the reductions are real, I cannot buy a 100 watt incandecesnt light bulb anywhere. I have removed 36 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere myself with my solar panels.

Where’s the beef?

Gary Pearse
May 15, 2022 10:35 am

“..but we clearly cannot rely on it now.” Therefore “Urgent investment in renewable energy and storage technologies is the cheaper (most expensive) and proven (failed) pathway going forward.”

Any one need a newspeak translator?

May 15, 2022 11:34 am

CO2 is the building block of all life. And they want to suck it out of the atmosphere. What could possibly go wrong?

Loren C. Wilson
May 15, 2022 12:18 pm

To make LNG and not freeze up the plant, the CO2 and water in the gas stream have to be removed down to the ppm level. The CO2 is captured via several removal processes. The next step is to recover the absorbed CO2 when the solvent (or other media) is regenerated. For bulk removal of CO2, alkanolamines such as methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) are the cheapest option. MDEA in aqueous solution reacts with CO2 and H2S. This reaction is reversible by increasing the temperature and lowering the pressure. The reacted solvent is regenerated in a stripper column using steam. CO2 is usually just rejected to the atmosphere. H2S is reacted to elemental sulfur. To sequestrate the CO2, it needs to be purified enough to run through a compressor and is reinjected into a stable formation, often an old gas well that does not produce any more. All these steps cost money. That is the big issue, not the technology. Coal-fired power plants coupled with CCS do the same thing. They also have the same economic problems. The efficiency of the power plant is significantly reduced because of all the electricity required to capture the CO2, clean it up, and compress it. There is no magic way of reducing the cost below the theoretical minimum energy required for the separation, or to compress the gas. Even a 100% theoretically efficient process is prohibitively expensive. Since we operate in the real world, the energy requirements are higher and more expensive. That’s why the only people that do it are subsidized by our tax dollars or by artificially high energy prices charged to the consumers.

May 15, 2022 12:18 pm

The most effective carbon capture in the world is a natural process: The carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere dissolves itself in the oceans water, producing CO3 bivalent anions which may immediately combine with 2 calcium monovalent cations thus producing an insoluble precipitate of calcium carbonate that will end on the ocean bottom and remain there forever.
I searched unsuccessfully an estimate of the quantities of carbon dioxide that are captured through this process daily.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Jack
May 15, 2022 1:28 pm

Correct except for one small detail. Calcium is divalent. Sodium and potassium are monovalent, and the carbonate salt is very soluble in water. The divalent cations produce sparingly soluble salts, hence the hard water deposits caused by magnesium and calcium.

Your post does bring a thought to mind. Since the ocean and the organisms that use carbonate to build their homes or bodies are the biggest users of CO2, if CO2 is really a problem, the greenies will have no problem with fertilizing the ocean to reduce CO2 again. This has been demonstrated for salmon production using iron to help the bottom of the food chain flourish. The fertilizer produced more phytoplankton and the increased harvest of salmon reflected the greater availability of food all the way up the food chain. The greens were not happy. It’s as if they don’t want anyone to be comfortable (except them of course).

Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
May 17, 2022 1:35 am

That’s exactly true, the greens hate the simple and elegant idea of ocean fertilization using tiny amounts of iron dust (and probably other minerals as needed), and have always hated the idea and have tried to block any talk about it for decades, even way back to the ’90s when most people believed the climate scientists were truthful. When I saw the convoluted excuses made up by so-called scientists to discredit the idea and block even just researching the concept, that’s when I started to realize the climate scientists don’t really care about the planet, and are using the climate scare as an excuse to tax people to death, and fulfill their crazy fantasies of punishing oil companies, saving the world from industry and human development.

May 15, 2022 2:00 pm

What is status now of those who sold the greenhouse gas offsets to Gorgon, they obviously cannot any longer have any claims to being carbon neutral, if that is what status they were claiming.

May 15, 2022 2:43 pm

Mankind’s best efforts comfortably defeated by plankton.

Unfortunately, what plankton do is dangerous for the climate, and one day we may have to defeat the plankton. https://www.thegwpf.org/patrick-moore-should-we-celebrate-carbon-dioxide/

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 17, 2022 1:54 am

Are you saying that I should stop mentioning ocean fertilization (as a means to deflect the warmunists away from wasting vast sums on renewables and enacting ruinous laws that impede people from using safe, efficient, economical fuels) because the idea may be taken up by the climate crazies and they end up doing it too much and reducing CO2 to disastrous levels?

Very good point — the warmunists have a history of doing first, ask questions later in regards to their climate solutions – like the way they went all giddy after diesel engines and didn’t seem to care about real pollution like NO2, and like they are doing now with batteries regardless of the mining involved or the hydrogen regardless of the huge development of infrastructure involved – and the resultant emissions.

Definitely it would be best to stick to the facts in the climate debate but that requires the other side to have a healthy respect for truth and logic – but they only care about propaganda and power.

Last edited 4 months ago by PCman999
May 16, 2022 3:40 pm

“Carbon capture is an effort to destroy all life on Earth. We are carbon-based life forms. Organic chemistry is carbon chemistry. Life begins with photosynthesis:
CO2 + H2O + sunshine in a green plant—>sugar, out of which the plant makes everything else, and feeds the soil organisms that bring it minerals.

All life, all life depends on carbon dioxide.

The optimum level of carbon dioxide in greenhouses is 1100 ppm, last I heard.

SEQUESTERING C02 in the soil via organic matter increases soil fertility and is necessary to prevent and reduce droughts and floods, both of which are increased by bare soils and low organic matter. Droughts and floods seem like opposites, but they’re not. Soils with low organic matter and low structure do not hold water well, so when heavy rain comes, the soil washes away = flood. Then the water is not there in the dryer weather because it wasn’t properly stored in the soil. That is called drought.

The killing of all life comes when C is removed from the ecosystem entirely. This stuff matters and YOUR life is in the cross hairs.

May 16, 2022 5:15 pm

Oil is black. If you are against oil it is because you are a racist blackophobe.

Reply to  ferdberple
May 17, 2022 1:37 am

Awesome, just awesome!

May 17, 2022 12:54 am

Run a pipeline into the deep cold ocean and pump the co2 down there. Cold water has a higher solubility for co2 and I sire the plankton will love any excess co2 that bubbles up from the depths.

Or do nothing – it will have the same effect on climate as co2 in the air, just about zero. A tiny amount.

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