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Oil Industry Must Step Up Cooperation on Carbon, Executive Says




By Angela Macdonald-Smith

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) — Oil and gas companies need to step up cooperation with each other and with regulators on carbon capture and disposal to help address climate change, said Leo Roodhart, president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The global financial crisis, which threatens to slow international efforts to tackle global warming, makes collaboration more important, Roodhart, who is also head of strategic innovation at Royal Dutch Shell Plc‘s international unit, said in an interview.

Carbon capture and storage technology involves extracting the gas from emissions from power generation and industrial processes and piping it into underground storage rather than venting it into the air. Schlumberger Ltd., Santos Ltd., Shell and Xstrata Plc are among companies involved in proposed carbon capture and storage projects in Australia.

“There is a financial crisis without a doubt,” Roodhart said in a telephone interview late yesterday in advance of a Society of Petroleum Engineers conference in Perth, Western Australia. “But establishing a carbon storage project would take a decade to be effective, while the financial crisis will last one, maybe two years.”

The successful development of carbon capture and storage projects would extend the use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

Australia could have commercial carbon geo-sequestration projects in operation within 10 years, driven by the government’s policy of backing demonstration and commercial- scale ventures, said Sandeep Sharma, program manager with Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies.

The oil and gas industry has the know-how and processes to implement carbon capture and storage and can play a “significant role in expediting its deployment,” Sharma said in a statement released at the conference.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney

Last Updated: October 19, 2008 17:38 EDT


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