Pilot Energy to seek $70m to fund clean energy project south of Geraldton

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
The offshore Cliff Head oil field located south of Geraldton.
Camera IconThe offshore Cliff Head oil field located south of Geraldton. Credit: Elixir Petroleum/Elixir Petroleum

The proponents of a clean energy project south of Geraldton are moving to secure funding after feasibility studies found the venture would go far to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Mid West.

Pilot Energy’s Mid West clean energy project would transform the Cliff Head oil field into a “launch pad” for delivering affordable renewables.

The project is still in its infancy, with consultants engaged to progress regulatory approvals, obtain land access, and secure project financing and partnering arrangements.

Pilot Energy on Tuesday released findings from the latest technical and engineering studies, which confirmed the Cliff Head wells, pipelines and infrastructure are suitable for conversion from oil production to capturing and storing carbon with “minimal modifications”.

Converting the five existing wells to carbon dioxide injectors and upgrading the existing platform and pipeline at the site is expected to cost about $110 million.

In an ASX announcement, Pilot Energy said the venture could be funded through long-term debt financing and direct equity investment by project customers.

Cost estimates indicated about $70m would be needed to fund the project after taking into account cashflow from oil production in the early stages of the venture.

Pilot Energy chairman Brad Lingo said he was “extremely excited” by the findings of the studies.

“The studies demonstrate that the existing Cliff Head oil field production operation can be converted into an offshore carbon capture and storage project in a simple, straightforward, low-risk way and at a low cost,” he said.

“The project has very robust economics and delivers real, tangible and direct ability to reduce significant and growing CO2 emissions in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

“The project will provide a safe and permanent solution to make a material contribution to Australia meeting its greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments.”

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