Greenhouse gas storage potential

The Australian Government recognises the potential contribution that carbon capture and storage (CCS) can make to lowering emissions in Australia and supports the global development of greenhouse gas (GHG) capture technology and storage capacity.

GHG storage capacity is geology-specific so the government is investing in basic public knowledge of prospective storage sites.

Identifying storage potential

The Government, with support from state and territory governments, has undertaken a national, strategically-phased program of pre-competitive data acquisition and characterisation of the following prospective GHG storage sites.



South West Western Australia

South Perth (onshore)
Vlaming sub-basin (offshore)

North West Western Australia

Browse (offshore)
Canning (onshore)


Gippsland (offshore) – Stage 1
Gippsland (offshore) – Stage 2

Southern and central Queensland

Surat and Bowen (onshore)

New South Wales

NSW (onshore)
Darling (onshore)

Northern Australia

Petrel Sub-basin/Bonaparte Basin (offshore)

Proving storage potential

The Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program has focused on proving storage potential through projects such as CarbonNet, South West Hub and Otway. The investigation of storage potential is also being undertaken in Northern Australia and Queensland through the CCS R&D program, which is part of the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships program.

Assessments of storage potential is also supported by programs such as the Education Investment Fund (EIF), which provides key infrastructure to support the active Flagships projects.

Acreage release for Greenhouse Gas Storage

The Australian Government has released offshore acreage for GHG storage assessment to enable exploration of prospective sites. This provided GHG storage explorers with the opportunity to obtain the necessary exploration permits to assess potential storage formations.

The first GHG storage assessment acreage was released in 2009. The Victorian Government was awarded a greenhouse gas assessment permit (VIC-GIP-001) for the CarbonNet project in 2012. This permit covered 4,400 square kilometres off the Gippsland Coast, for a six year period.

The second acreage release took place in 2014 and the Victorian Government was awarded a further three greenhouse gas assessment permits in 2015.

2014 GHG Acreage Release Areas for further information.

Previous release areas, closing dates for bids and granting of Greenhouse Gas Assessment Permits are also available on Australian Government Notices Gazette. There is currently no greenhouse gas assessment acreage release open for bidding.

Related pages

More information

  • Pre-competitive data acquisition and characterisation of prospective GHG storage sites—Geoscience Australia



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