UK and Norway to study role of North Sea in CO2 storage

by Published Thu 28 May 2009 13:09
North Sea to be focus of CO2 study

The governments of UK and Norway have announced a major new joint study to determine the feasibility of using the North Sea for future CO2 storage.

The two countries have commisioned research to look at the North Sea's possible role in providing storage space under the sea-bed for carbon dioxide.

Lord Hunt and his Norwegian ministerial counterpart Terje Riis-Johansen, met to agree on a clear vision for the potential role of the North Sea in the future deployment of CCS in Europe, at the conference on Climate Change and Technology in Bergen, Norway.

The study will look at how quickly the base of the North Sea could be needed for carbon dioxide storage and what the UK, Norway and other countries have to do to get it ready in time.

Lord Hunt, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, in the UK, said, “Today's agreement reaffirms the UK's leadership in tackling the emissions from fossil fuel power generation.

“Carbon capture and storage has the potential to reduce emissions from coal-fired power stations by around 90%. The strength of the UK's offshore industries means we are well-placed to store that carbon dioxide under the North Sea.

“The benefits of CCS are not only environmental. There are clear business and job opportunities to be found in green energy technology.

“This study will help assist the governments in Europe to work together to store carbon dioxide safely under the North Sea and to plan the implementation of CCS.”

The aim of the study will be to build a profile for the whole of the North Sea, assessing each countries' storage potential and projections of likely volumes and locations of CO2 flows, against a rising price of carbon.

This will involve identifying network issues and proposing methods for managing CO2 flows across borders.

The study, a follow up to initial research reports in 2007 and 2008, will also consider how the offshore storage business might develop.

The UK and Norway have also agreed to campaign for international recognition of the important role that CCS can play and exchange information on national CCS demonstration plants and to encourage other countries to explore the potential role of CCS within their own energy generation programmes.

The two governments are also to encourage the Transmission System Operators to explore the potential commercial viability of a new interconnector between the UK and Norway, facilitating the future export of renewable electricity.

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