The Pelican site

Diagram showing the site selection process. Initially fourteen prospective sites were identified and narrowed down to three. The one site prioritised.

Pelican is CarbonNet’s prioritised initial carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site, located in the offshore Gippsland Basin, in Bass Strait.

Pelican is a very large, dome shaped geological structure that has many rock layers.

The porous layers of sandstone, approximately 1.5km below the seabed, act like a sponge to store the CO2, while layers of shale and coal form the barriers to trap the CO2 – the same way oil and gas has been trapped in Bass Strait naturally for millions of years.

Pelican is large enough to store at least five million tonnes of CO2 per year for 25 years. That’s the equivalent of CO2 emissions from around one million cars every year.

How we chose the Pelican site

Since 2010, extensive scientific investigations have been undertaken to identify potential storage sites across the Gippsland Basin.

Detailed 3D geological models of the Basin enabled geologists and reservoir engineers to analyse a number of sites and to predict the behaviour of CO2 throughout the storage process, from injection to migration and stabilisation.

Initially, 14 sites were identified in the nearshore area. This was eventually reduced to three, with Pelican prioritised as the first CarbonNet storage site.

Pelican is located approximately eight kilometres off the coast of Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland.

Modelling of the sites was independently reviewed by:

Modelling was also externally certified by world-leading CCS experts from Det Norske Veritas.

The sites were evaluated using similar methods to those used by the oil and gas industry, with a focus on safe and secure long-term CO2 storage.

Page last updated: 02 Jun 2021