On Thursday, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) in the UK announced it has awarded energy giants BP and Equinor two carbon storage licenses.
The licenses have an appraisal term of eight years and are for the UK Continental Shelf off the coast of Humberside.
Britain is expecting to increase its reliance on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for the purpose of meeting its 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.
The process involves capturing vast quantities of the climate-warming gas and transporting it deep underground (in most cases) for permanent storage.
In fact, the UK plans to store as much as up to 30 million metric tons of CO2 every year by 2030, and by 2035, that number should surpass 50 million tons.
During the eight years, for which the licenses are valid, both firms will need to reach specific milestones, such as drilling wells to gather data and conducting seismic surveys of the future storage sites.
These cabron storage licenses and together with those already issued to the Northern Endurance Partnership, of which both BP and Equinor are a part, can potentially make for storage potential of up to 23 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Now there is a total of six carbon storage licenses issued in the UK, and according to the NSTA, first injections should be taking place as early as 2025.