Report affirms suitability of UK offshore reservoirs as CO2 stores

Offshore staff

EDINBURGH, UK – Britain’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has issued a report which suggests that rocks deep beneath the seas around the UK’s coasts are suited to store carbon dioxide (CO2).

Findings from the £2.5-million ($3.6-million) study, conducted by Pale Blue Dot and its project partners, underline the optimal character of North Sea geology for this task, according to Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS).

The study examined five typical configurations of offshore UK geology: the Captain Sandstone (the subject of the SCCS joint industry project, CO2MultiStore); the Forties Sandstone in the UK central North Sea; the Hamilton depleted gas field beneath the Irish Sea; and the Viking gas field and 44/26 sandstone dome sites beneath the UK southern North Sea. 

For the first time all were comprehensively analyzed using data from offshore oil and gas exploration and production. Results, SSCS said, provide commercial-quality costing and design estimates for offshore engineering.

Each site has different individual characteristics but all five are said to be capable of securely storing very large amounts of CO2 from power and industry projects across the UK.

Pale Blue Dot’s analysis also revealed an average cost for transport and storage of around £15 ($21.6) per metric ton of CO2  and a range of between £11 and £18/metric ton ($15.8 and $26).

Costs could be further reduced, SSCS claimed, through adapting subsurface engineering to ensure that injected CO2 fully pervades the pore space of the reservoir sandstone. Also, identifying “clusters” of geographically close offshore sites could encourage shared use of large diameter pipelines by emitters, potentially cutting the cost per metric ton of CO2 by a further 10-30%.


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