Scotland could be the £7bn carbon capture and storage hub of Europe

by Search Gate staff. Published Thu 19 Jun 2014 13:32, Last updated: 2014-06-19
Report reveals huge opportunity for CCS in Scotland

A new study has found the North East of Scotland could become the Carbon Capture and Storage hub for Europe and in the process create a multi-billion pound boost for the economy.

The key findings of a new Element Energy report conclude that Scotland’s existing infrastructure, skills base, potential storage and enhanced oil recovery sites in the Central North Sea, make it a compelling location to be a Carbon Capture and Storage hub for Europe.

The study provides analysis of the opportunities to deliver CCS at least cost, least risk, and with maximum flexibility. It shows that the combination of Carbon Capture and Storage with Enhanced Oil Recovery in the Central North Sea provides an excellent platform to achieve multiple benefits.

Key findings include:

• Investment would boost the Scottish economy - the potential gross value added to the Scottish economy alone would be up to ca. £7 billion over the period to 2050, excluding tax receipts.

• Under aggressive CCS deployment work would lead to the creation of 44,000 cumulative person-years of employment in Scotland in the period to 2050.

• CCS can support the decarbonisation of the economy in Scotland, the UK and North West Europe, with potential for storing up to 1,700 million tonnes of CO2 over the period to 2050, helping us to meet the challenge of climate change.

• As this can be accompanied by the economic production of at least 1.4 billion additional barrels of oil, extending the life of the oil industry in the UK, Norway and Denmark, and bringing in £10 billion in discounted revenue, and associated benefits in balance of trade, jobs, and energy security.

Speaking ahead of a referendum debate in Aberdeen, Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government have been robust advocates of CCS for over a decade now, recognising the strong comparative advantages that Scotland has in academic expertise, industrial know-how and the unrivalled storage capacity in the North Sea and Scotland is are already contributing financially to the UK CCS Competition through the taxes we pay to the Treasury.

“Today’s report from Element Energy shows that CCS is a £7 billion opportunity for Scotland’s economy to 2050, including the economy of the North East.

“Scotland is perfectly placed to play a leading role in the development of CCS and capture a major share of the global market.

“Innovation, including the contribution of EOR/CCS can and should play a major part in securing the long term future and success of the oil and gas industry. Sadly, the UK Government have failed to grasp the scale of prize of using CCS to extract additional oil reserves.

“Only independence provides Scotland with the autonomy to make the necessary strategic investments that will support the growth of CCS.”

Many analysts have agreed that carbon capture and storage is essential if the challenge of climate change is met at least cost, in Scotland and worldwide.

Element Energy working with partners SCCS, AMEC, and Dundas Consultants, have completed a comprehensive analysis into the development of CCS in the UK on behalf of Scottish Enterprise.

The report examines a wide range of scenarios for how CCS might develop and uses these to develop blueprints and detailed business plans for how to deliver CCS at least cost, least risk, and with maximum flexibility.

The study has illustrated that all the components are either in place, or can be readily developed, for Scotland to become a CCS hub, supporting UK and European CCS deployment.

The CNS has by far the UK's largest variety of stakeholder interests, legacy facilities (pipelines, platforms and wells), potential physical and commercial / regulatory configurations for CCS development. This leads to a wealth of opportunity for established North Sea operators as well as new entrants.

That demands leadership and flexibility, which Scotland is ready and willing to deliver.

The report provides a series of recommendations for Scotland if it wishes to be a European leader in CCS. Efforts to champion CCS projects, and develop infrastructure for EOR, power and industry in the UK and Europe should be stepped up immediately and continue during the 2010s on the following themes:

* Support for early CCS demonstration in Scotland

* Maximising the UK and European market for CCS in the 2010s and 2020s

* Supporting infrastructure that targets the CNS

* Improving CCS readiness and optimising infrastructure

* Improving the commercial attractiveness of CO2 transport, storage and EOR.

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