To support the development of successful emissions reduction technology, Ventia's Rig & Well Services business has provided drilling services for one of Australia's most significant carbon capture and storage research projects, the CO2CRC International Test Centre.

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage, or CCS, is an important emissions reduction technology that can be applied across the energy system.

CCUS involves a group of technologies that can capture up to 95% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, minimising the amount of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere.

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Rig & Well Services and the CO2CRC's Otway Stage 3 Project, south-western Victoria

On 18 September 2019, the last of four new 1600-metre-deep monitoring wells was drilled and cased on behalf of the CO2CRC Otway Stage 3 Research Project. Rig & Well Services had completed this work for the research facility, and each well was equipped with the latest technologies in fibre optics sensing and subsurface gauges. Pressure communication between wells had been confirmed and the seismic imaging system was functioning on all wells as designed.

The 59-day drilling program was successfully completed using one of Rig & Well Services' Advantage Drilling Rigs at CO2CRC's Otway International Test Centre, located at Nirranda South in south-west Victoria. 

The project is proving-up technologies which provide data on demand, as well as aiming to reduce the cost and impact of long-term CO2 storage monitoring for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

Teams from CSIRO and Curtin University continue to adjust the pressure tomography monitoring system and perform baseline seismic acquisitions using fibre optics cables and permanently deployed surface orbital vibrators.

"These new technologies provide data quicker, across a smaller environmental footprint, and cost significantly less than the seismic surveys currently used. Initial estimates show cost savings of up to 75 percent," said David Byers, CEO of CO2CRC.

"Our hope is that the research will lead to more carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects around the world, allowing CCS to play a vital role in reducing emissions across all major industry sectors. As the International Energy Agency points out, without CCS as part of the solution, meeting global climate goals will be practically impossible," he said.

The Easternwell team involved in the project drilled almost 7km of directional wells, ran 11km of steel casing, 13km of fibre optic cable and pumped 458 tonnes of cement. This represents the largest single project undertaken by CO2CRC in support of testing new and innovative techniques that will support current and future CCS projects both within Australia and globally.

CO2CRC project

Rig & Well Services General Manager, Kyle Koziol said the company is excited to support projects that reduce carbon emissions.

Projects such as CO2CRC's Otway Stage 3 Project bring valuable insight into the development of CCS in an industrially scalable, safe and cost-effective manner for all large-scale emitters of CO2, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.

The $45 million project is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government's Education Investment Fund (EIF), Low Emissions Technologies Australia through ANLEC R&D, BHP and the Victorian State Government.

Technical and scientific work programs are being carried out in partnership with Curtin University and CSIRO and are expected to be complete by June 2022.

For more information about CO2CRC's Otway International Test Centre: