A new study commissioned by the UK government shows high levels of confidence in the future of CO2 storage on the UK continental shelf (UKCS).
According to the report, which modeled over 25 years of carbon dioxide injection and 100 years of monitoring of the injected CO2, more than 99.9% of the injected carbon was retained within the two example storage sites.
These example locations were designed to have the qualities of ‘typical’ UKCS sites, where CO2 would potentially be injected.
There are over 500 such potential sites that have been identified by CO2Stored, the UK CO2 storage database, and their combined storage capacity is estimated to be around 78 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.
What’s more, the UKCS is home to oil and gas fields that have inherently high levels of CO2 stored within them, which serves as further proof that local geology can safely and provide long-term storage for carbon dioxide.
The study was conducted by independent chartered engineers, energy consultants and subsea engineers and was reviewed by DNV, and scientists at Heriot-Watt University and the British Geological Survey.
With the UK’s plans to create four major industrial carbon capture and storage (CCS) clusters by the end of the decade, these findings provide a strong scientific basis for the safety and permanence of CO2 storage as a climate solution.
The combined carbon capture capacity of the planned clusters is expected to be between 20 and 30 million tons of CO2 per year.
In June 2022, the UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) started the first round of carbon storage licensing, the results of which are set to be announced in the next few weeks.