Santos will rely on a carbon capture and storage scheme at Moomba, which can permanently store 1.7m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Picture: Kelly Barnes
Santos will rely on a carbon capture and storage scheme at Moomba, which can permanently store 1.7m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Picture: Kelly Barnes

Santos commits to zero target by 2040

Energy producer Santos has committed to net zero emissions by 2040 in a move that may hike pressure on its Australian oil and gas rivals to boost their commitment to tackle climate change.

The South Australian producer will on Tuesday detail a plan to cut its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 26-30 per cent by 2030 on a 2020 baseline. Scope 1 and 2 emissions refer to pollution directly emitted as part of a company's operations, and those released by core parts of its supply chain such as energy generation.

It also plans to "actively work" with customers to reduce their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, with a grander goal of net zero emissions a decade later.

Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher: ‘To achieve global emissions reduction goals it is vital that companies like Santos focus on making these fuels cleaner and eventually zero emissions.’ Picture: Mark Brake
Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher: ‘To achieve global emissions reduction goals it is vital that companies like Santos focus on making these fuels cleaner and eventually zero emissions.’ Picture: Mark Brake

Santos will rely on a carbon capture and storage scheme at Moomba, which can permanently store 1.7m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

An investment decision on its Moomba carbon capture and storage project is due by the end of 2020, with Santos working on a plan to decarbonise third-party gas which flows through the plant, for producers and pipeline operators seeking to cut their carbon exposure.

It also holds stakes in nature-based carbon abatement projects including a savannah-burning scheme in the Northern Territory's West Arnhem Land.

"Our focus over the last three years on step change technologies such as carbon capture and storage has enabled a pathway that allows us to go further faster when it comes to emissions reduction," Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said ahead of the company's investor day on Tuesday.

"The world still relies on hydrocarbon fuels for 80 per cent of its primary energy, the same as 45 years ago, so to achieve global emissions reduction goals it is vital that companies like Santos focus on making these fuels cleaner and eventually zero emissions.

"Through large-scale carbon capture and storage, world-leading nature-based offsets, increased use of renewables and energy efficiency projects, Santos will continue to be a leading clean fuels company at the forefront of the energy transition to a lower-carbon future."


The move may also increase pressure on its competitors as they weigh their own response to increasing pressure to combat climate change.

Woodside Petroleum has laid out staged plans to help achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with reductions of 15 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030 in net equity Scope 1 and 2 emissions, compared with the 2016-2020 period.

Resources contractor Worley plans to reach net zero emissions for Scope 1 and 2 by 2030, and will work to reduce Scope 3 - covering the emissions of its customers.

Worley is working on an energy transitions "road map" and will also work out a strategy in the next financial year for cutting Scope 3 emissions.

Originally published as Santos commits to zero target by 2040


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