LONDON — Britain’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has established a team to oversee delivery of offshore carbon transportation and storage developments on the UK Continental Shelf, following successful exploration and appraisal.
The government has set a target of capturing 20 MM metric tons to 30 MM metric tons per year of emitted CO2 by 2030, as it aims to make the UK net zero by 2050.
Additionally, a successful carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry could support 50,000 jobs, the NSTA said, and further development of low-carbon technologies, such as blue hydrogen (producing hydrogen from natural gas while at the same time capturing and storing the CO2).
Last June the UK’s first carbon storage licensing round offered 13 areas and attracted 26 bids. Licenses should be awarded in the next few weeks.
Jo Bagguley, NSTA principal regional geologist, said, “Many of these licenses should result in substantial exploration and appraisal activity over the next several years, resulting in better characterization of subsurface storage sites that can subsequently be passed into the development cycle.”
Eventually up to 100 separate stores could be required for the UK to meet its domestic storage requirement, the NSTA added.
Its new team, headed by Alistair Macfarlane, will steward the industry from the point of site characterization to permit applications and beyond. It will include reservoir engineers and geoscientists, collaborating with offshore operators on their development plans and the execution of their work programs.
Once CO2 injection has started, the team will seek to ensure that the projects operate in line with the permit terms.
The NSTA’s existing Exploration & New Ventures Team will continue to manage the UK storage portfolio, execute licensing rounds, and steward industry exploration and appraisal work programs from the point of license award to the end of site characterization.