Chevron has pledged to provide funding for a carbon sequestration firm’s pilot project in Western Australia (WA), as part of its first nature-based carbon offset project in Australia.

Chevron’s subsidiaries, Chevron Australia New Energies and Chevron Australia, will fund Carbon Sync, a WA-based provider of agricultural education and extension services. Carbon Sync will spearhead a pilot project focusing on soil carbon sequestration, utilising 80,000 hectares of cropping and grazing land.

“Our collaboration with Carbon Sync is expected to provide critical insights related to soil carbon projects in a region with large potential for scale to help meet the forecasted demand for Australian Carbon Credit Units,” Chevron Australia’s general manager for energy transition, David Fallon said on 11 August. No details were disclosed on sequestration volumes.

Chevron is set to also embark on a multi-year blue carbon research programme, carried out in partnership with Victoria’s Deakin University. This initiative will systematically explore an array of carbon sequestration options within the coastal wetlands of WA, aligning with Chevron’s goals to develop a business model with lower carbon emissions.

But no specific financial details were disclosed for either of these projects.

Chevron’s Gorgon carbon capture and storage (CCS) project remains the largest injection site in the country, but it has encountered difficulties in achieving its targeted 4mn t/yr of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) for sequestration.

Chevron acknowledged in May that the Gorgon CCS facility, which commenced operations in 2019, more than three years after first gas was shipped from the three-train, 15.6mn t/yr Gorgon LNG, was operating at only 33pc of its intended capacity.

As a result, Chevron had to acquire 5.23mn of carbon offsets in 2021 to make up for the shortfall in the volume of CO2 it was able to abate in order to fulfil its regulatory obligations. Additionally, WA’s Environmental Protection Authority last year urged Chevron to sequester at least 3.4mn t/yr or 80pc of CO2e emissions from Gorgon’s fields.