Carbon capture and storage developers can access data on 78 billion tonnes worth of carbon dioxide storage sites off the UK coast, using a website launched by the Crown Estate and British Geological Survey (BGS) today.
The website holds data on nearly 600 units of storage in saline aquifiers and depleted oil and gas fields around the UK.
It is named “CO2 Stored” and is intended to help industry plan projects in the UK which has one of the largest storage capacities in Europe.
Dr Ward Goldthorpe, programme manager at the Crown Estate, said the launch was a “significant step forward”. He added: “The unique partnership with the British Geological Survey provides long term stewardship of this nationally significant dataset, and we will be working to ensure industry, academia, government and other interested users can access the data as easily as possible.”
BGS director of science and technology Mike Stephenson said storage of carbon dioxide in the North Sea “could be big business in the future” and this project “will help kick-start this new industry”.
This forms part of a £1 million five-year partnership programme of the Crown Estate and the BGS, which builds on a £4 million project by the Energy Technologies Institute to identify storage sites.
CCS programme manager at the ETI, Andrew Green said “Our modelling has shown that there is huge potential and a strong argument for CCS to be a core component of the UK’s future energy mix. Whilst a lot of focus is on the build and demonstration of CCS plant, the availability of sufficient high-quality storage capacity is crucial to the large-scale rollout of CCS in the UK.
Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the CCS Association, welcomed the development. He said: “This is a tremendous resource for the CCS industry, regulators and the wider CCS community – and in particular will enable developers of CCS to choose only the best sites for carbon dioxide storage.”