April 2013

Are UK CCS projects finally poised for take-off? (2)

Depleted oil and gas fields and saline formations in the UK sector of the North Sea have the potential to hold vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. So far, no sizeable pilot schemes have been established in the UK, but in March, two projects were selected as candidates to receive funding as part of a £1-billion ($1.5-billion) UK government-backed competition aimed at stimulating the sector. A venture between Royal Dutch Shell, and Scottish and Southern Electricity, plans to capture 90% of CO2 emissions from a 1.18-gigawatt gas plant at Peterhead, eastern Scotland, for storage in the nearby, depleted, Goldeneye gas reservoir. Meanwhile, a consortium of power producer Drax, Alstom and BOC Group wants to store CO2 from a 304-megawatt, coal-fired power station in northeastern England in an offshore saline aquifer. World Oil asked Jeff Chapman, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, which represents the UK’s CCS industry, whether this funding could finally kick-start the sector.

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