Oxford economics professor Cameron Hepburn.
Oxford economics professor Cameron Hepburn. Ray Cash

‘Gas is dead’ without carbon capture: economist

GAS will be "dead" without effective carbon capture and storage in a net-zero emissions world, an Oxford economist has told an oil and gas conference. 

Speaking at an APPEA conference in Brisbane Professor Cameron Hepburn said the gas sector had a short-term opportunity to pick up the slack as the global energy source moved towards renewables. 

But if carbon capture and storage was not developed, the industry would collapse in the long term. 

"In the long run, I hate to say this, but gas is dead unless (carbon capture and storage) or some other kind of negative emissions technology comes about," he said. 

"And I would say given that is the consequence for the industry - death - it is remarkable how little is being done to support CCS."   

But Origin Energy managing director Grant King said he believed the future for gas was "very good" as it played a role to help renewables   

Speaking after Prof Hepburn at the conference, Mr King said gas and renewables could work together to provide reliable, low-emissions power. 

He said Australia's gas industry could provide billions of people across the world with low-emissions power. 

Prof Hepburn said he expected gas to benefit over the short term - but questioned the industry's future if it could not negate emissions. 

"Net emissions being zero means zero. That means a 100% cut of net emissions for a stable climate," he said. 

"Gas demand in a climate-constrained world is likely to grow in the short term - 10, 20, 30 years perhaps. 

"But beyond that window things start to get questionable." - ARM NEWSDESK  

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