Keith Johnson at The WSJ's Environmental Capital blog has a post on the importance of the gigantic carbon sequestration experiment about to be performed by the Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island off Western Australia - Carbon Storage: Why the Gorgon Gas Play Might Be Really Important.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will be responsible for the storage of the carbon-dioxide resulting from the natural-gas project during its operating lifetime and for 15 years afterward, Bloomberg reports. After that, the Australian national and state governments will be responsible.
There are several ways to read that decision. It could be a supreme vote of confidence in the long-term security of underground storage of carbon dioxide. Companies that have spent years monitoring small carbon-storage operations have indeed found no cause for alarm so far. Australia might also figure that the economic and employment benefits associated with the project outweigh any slight future risk. Or, the Australian government might simply figure it’s a risk-free agreement since nobody in office will be alive in 2069 anyway.