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Carbon capture and sequestration — taking carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities, and shoving them underground — represents one of the higher stakes bets in the fight against climate change. It’s unproven at large scale, yet deemed essential by the International Energy […]

naturalgas2Carbon capture and sequestration — taking carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities, and shoving them underground — represents one of the higher stakes bets in the fight against climate change. It’s unproven at large scale, yet deemed essential by the International Energy Agency and Energy Secretary Steven Chu as a tool for reducing greenhouse gas emission.

But it won’t come cheap. Case in point: General Electric has just announced that its Oil & Gas division has won a $400 million contract from Chevron to supply equipment for the energy behemoth’s liquified natural gas production and carbon sequestration at a site in Western Australia. According to GE, it will be the largest carbon dioxide injection project in the world.

This isn’t GE’s first involvement in the so-called Gorgon Project, which is scheduled to begin producing gas in 2014 and won approval from the Australian government last month. The conglomerate got its foot in the door with an agreement in May 2008 for it to supply subsea support services, such as pipeline termination structures, control modules, system integration testing and installations. GE’s equipment will be used to pump carbon dioxide removed from the natural gas back into the sites it’s extracted it from, and also cool the gas into liquid form for transport.

Estimated to cost a whopping AUD$43 billion ($40 billion) for just the first phase of development, Gorgon is a joint venture between the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (50 percent interest), ExxonMobil and Shell (25 percent each). While a growing number of startups are working to capitalize on the coming carbon capture boom — notably using algae tech and other bio-based carbon “recyclers” — it’s these types of global supermajors that are first in line to benefit from the billions of dollars slated for investment in carbon capture projects over the next five years. After all, as Emerging Energy Research pointed out earlier this year, they already own the tools of the trade.

  1. [...] General Electric’s Oil and Gas division succeeded in getting the contract worth $400 million for the project’s supply and support services, providing control modules, pipeline termination structures, installations and system integration system. Equipment and machineries from GE will be used for the extraction and cooling or liquefying the natural gas for ease of transport. They will also take its carbon dioxide emission and inject it back to the site where it has been previously taken. The practice of carbon capture and sequestration and its effectiveness still remains unproven, yet the International Energy Agency believes that it has enough potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities. Read the full article here [...]

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