OEUK news

Carbon capture and storage technology lands in the English Channel

30 April 2024

The leading trade body Offshore Energies UK says a new carbon storage licence being offered in the English Channel is an innovative way to store greenhouse gas emissions from industrial emitters on the South Coast

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has today invited applications for an out of round CO2 storage licence in saline aquifers off the Isle of Wight.(see map below)

If the UK is to capitalise on its advantage of having the largest CO2 storage potential in Europe it must work at pace to develop CO2 stores throughout our territorial waters. Although most of the UK’s potential storage is located in the North Sea, the English Channel is estimated to have a potential storage capacity of over 1GT of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of more than 200 million cars driven in one year.

The availability of CO2 stores on the South Coast is essential to help decarbonise industrial emitters that are critical to the economy but have limited options to transport CO2 to the transportation and storage networks being developed in the North and East Irish seas.

OEUK’s policy and sustainability director, Michael Tholen says:

“Today’s announcement is an important step for the UK’s carbon capture and storage sector, which now needs to be matched by a clear policy environment to provide certainty to investors. For example, although the announcement of £20bn of government support for CCS is welcome, industry needs clarity about the specific timelines for the deployment of the funding. Equally, CO2 emitters need a clear route to market in the form of a regular competitive allocation process and a framework to enable non-pipeline transportation of CO2 needs to be developed.

“The UK’s oil and gas supply chain has highly transferable capabilities to deliver CCS that are essential to make this project a success. A supply chain report commissioned by OEUK shows that around 80% of UK CCS expenditure is targetable by the existing oil and gas supply chain and the targetable UK CCS supply chain market is expected to be worth £2.6 billion in 2040.”

A total of 27 carbon storage licences have already been awarded. Four industrial scale carbon storage projects are already in development, with others to follow.

These are the Acorn project at St Fergus in the North of Scotland, Hynet NorthWest on Merseyside, the Northern Endurance Partnership on Teesside and Viking CCS on Humberside.

Permits for the first injections of carbon dioxide are expected to be issued later this year.


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