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Otway Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project

Company/Alliance: CO2CRC (Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies)

Location: Nirranda, Otway Basin, Southern Australia

Start Date: 2008

End Date: December 2011

Size: 65,000 tons CO2 injected.

CO2 Source: Natural deposit

Storage: Depleted gas reservoir (2000m depth)

Scale Up: None


Total cost of the project is $40 million.

To test if CO2 storage is economical and environmentally sustainable in Australia.

In January 2013, the Victorian Government has allocated $4 million to support the ongoing carbon dioxide capture and storage research in the Otway Basin.

August 2012 Rio Tinto provided funding of $3 million to support it as a field site for carbon storage research (as part of its support for the Peter Cook Centre)

September 2014 with the Victoria’s Ministry for Energy and Resources funded an additional $5 million for research in CO2 storage at the Otway site.


After four years, CO2CRC and its Australian and international research partners have safely injected an additional 15,000 tonnes of CO2 over the last four months with the aim to accurately predict the movement of CO2. This is to understand how CO2 will behave when permanently stored, and the technical capabilities of seismic monitoring to validate this plume movement. Fibre optic cables and a high resolution buried receiver, have been fitted with automated communications facilities to allow researchers to remotely access and operate this advanced surface and subsurface monitoring system. The equipment tested provides several options to reduce the surface monitoring activities required to verify the CO2 plume movement. CO2CRC’s research partners Curtin University, Western Australia, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, US, and CSIRO continue to work collaboratively on the analysis of this data. 

The pilot study of 65'000 tons of CO2 was successfully conducted in 2008-2011 with no leakage to date. The fields in the Otway Basin are CO2 gas-rich, the gas for this project came from the Buttress production well. Injection started in April 2008 at a rate of 150 tonnes a day at the depleted natural gas field Waarre C Formation around 2km below the surface.

In December 2011 CO2CRC confirmed that the Otway Project storage in 'depleted gas fields can be safe and effective, and that these structures could store globally significant amounts of carbon dioxide'.

In stage two of the project, researchers are undertaking CO2 storage research in a saline formation. This research will improve understanding of the ways CO2 is trapped in the rocks and will help commercial carbon capture and storage projects estimate the storage capacity and security of these common geological formations. The drilling of the monitoring wells started in February 2010.

Project Link: CO2CRC Otway Project website

Other Sources and Press Releases:
15,000 tonnes of CO2 stored at Otway (April 2016)
AUS $25 million for Otway project (February 2015)
CO2CRC Victoria Government Webpage
Carbon storage project lauded (August 2014)
Saline Carbon Capture and Storage Trial Two Successful
(March 2012)
Carbon-storage experiment shows no leakage (January 2012)
Otway project findings support geological CO2 storage (December 2011)
New trials begin at Australian Otway Project (June 2011) s
Carbon dioxide trial to start (January 2006)
Atmospheric monitoring of CO2 during injection [PDF] (August 2007)
CO2CRC website
NewGenCoal website