UK authorities update carbon storage priorities

May 4, 2022
The U.K.’s NSTA, TCE and CES have reaffirmed their commitment to help meet 2030 carbon storage targets of 22 MMton to 33 MMtons of CO2 emissions.

Offshore staff

LONDON  The U.K.’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the Crown Estate (TCE) and Crown Estate Scotland (CES) have reaffirmed their commitment to help meet the U.K. government’s carbon storage targets of 20 million to 30 million metric tons/year (22 MMton to 33 MMtons) of CO2 emissions by 2030 and more than 50 MM metric tons (55 MMtons) by 2035.

The three organizations are working with the government and others to identify suitable seabed areas and subsurface geology for carbon storage.

They have formulated three focus areas:

  1. To facilitate future planning, the window for nominations to the NSTA for new areas for potential carbon storage will remain open until May 13, 2022. There will then follow a short pause before the NSTA considers any further areas for potential storage.
  2. Reviews will continue of all nominations received in the current window and existing license applications to the NSTA and lease applications to TCE or CES from developers.
  3. All three organizations are assessing the best approach to carbon storage licensing and leasing, including the potential for future leasing and licensing rounds for offshore areas.

Developers must apply for both a carbon storage license, provided by the NSTA, and a storage agreement for lease, granted by TCE or CES, which are responsible for leasing the seabed.

The NSTA has published an updated carbon storage license application guidance, detailing the application process and basis on which it will assess applications. CES has published its approach to granting leases for offshore pipeline transportation, seabed and subsurface rights to developers for CO2.