Public Sharing of Information on Progressing Development of the UK’s Strategic Carbon Dioxide Storage Resource


By Tim Dixon

9 June 2016

 There was an excellent webinar today hosted by the Global CCS Institute on work from the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to develop UK storage resource. The report was produced by a consortium led by Aberdeen-based consultancy Pale Blue Dot Energy working with Axis Well Technology and Costain. It follows a 12 month project commissioned and delivered by the ETI, funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This work confirms that there are no technical hurdles to permanently and safely storing large quantities of carbon dioxide off the coasts of the UK. There is also the potential that these sites in the North Sea could be developed to provide a CO2 storage hub for CO2 emissions from mainland Europe, enhancing their economic attractiveness.

There is much in this work which should be of interest to many. They started with a large number of potential sites (579), reducing these to 37 then to 20, then selecting five to investigate in more detail. In this process of site assessment and selection, they used the criteria provided in the IEAGHG report ‘CCS Site Characterisation Criteria’ Report 2009/10, so it is good to see this report in use. The sites are all different as you would expect, and they have both depleted gas fields and aquifers with and without structural closure. They arrive at storage cost, storage capacity and storage efficiency estimations for each of the five. I think these final estimations are reassuring, with costs ranging from £11 to £18 per tonne, with storage efficiencies ranging from 3% to 78%. Notable was the small amount of cost associated with post-closure monitoring. They consider that the work they have done is sufficient for final investment decisions to be made of some of the sites should a project wish to develop them, demonstrating a very good investment by ETI and DECC.

Of particular interest to IEAGHG are the recommendations for further R&D, in the areas of improving storage efficiency (an active area in our technical programme) and in operational efficiency, for example heating CO2 streams for injection into low-pressure depleted gas reservoirs.

Overall, an excellent example of storage site assessments being shared in the public domain. For information see the following websites:

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