Santos defends Barossa carbon credentials
Barossa CO2 intensity is similar to other current and planned LNG projects in Australia, operator Santos told NGW on March 31, responding to a report by an NGO which claimed the field's gas contained more CO2 than any other supplies used to make LNG in the country.
“Santos has already achieved a 25% reduction in upstream emission numbers through the Feed process and Barossa’s CO2 intensity is similar to current and planned Australian LNG projects,” the company said. Santos took the final investment decision to sanction the project off Darwin, Northern Territory on March 30.
The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said in a report published on March 31 that Barossa's gas contained so much CO2 that most of it would have to be separated and vented offshore to meet the requirements of the Darwin LNG plant that will receive it.
"Barossa gas has three times the CO2 content that the Darwin LNG plant facility can handle," the IEEFA report's author John Robert said. “When the venting and combustion emissions both off- and on-shore are calculated, the Barossa to Darwin LNG project looks more like a CO2 emissions factory with an LNG by-product. The unprecedented scale of the Barossa emissions relative to the LNG production creates major risks for shareholders."
However, Santos said the report by the "anti-fossil fuel organisation" IEEFA should be treated with caution. "It always opposes new gas projects and its report on the Barossa gas project should be taken with a grain of salt."
The company noted that like all other developments, Barossa would be subject to emissions baselines set by Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator, with carbon offsets required if the baseline is exceeded. It added it had a nature-based carbon offset programme registered with Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator, a savannah burning project in West Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Its Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project will be the second largest and one of the lowest cost of its kind in the world.
The Barossa development will comprise a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, subsea production wells, supporting subsea infrastructure and a gas export pipeline tied into the existing Bayu-Undan to DLNG pipeline. First gas production is targeted for the first half of 2025, Santos said. The company had deferred taking the FID on Barossa last year due to a pandemic-induced oil price crash.
Barossa will provide the next source of gas for the existing Santos-operated Darwin LNG plant once current reserves from the Santos-operated Bayu-Undan field in the Timor Sea have been depleted.