The Crown Estate, which manages the carbon storage rights for the UK continental shelf, and the British Geological Survey have opened up their database of information on 600 prospective CCS locations.

The ‘CO2 Stored’ database, which previously cost £4,000 to access, contains geological data, storage estimates and risk assessments on depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and saline aquifers around the UK.

The Crown Estate said the move would encourage more companies to invest in CCS by reducing initial costs and making information more readily available.

The Crown Estate’s CCS programme manager Dr Ward Goldthorpe said: “As an active manager of the UK seabed, we’re committed to unlocking value from this natural asset, including working with industry to develop the emerging carbon capture storage sector on the path to commercialisation. 

“As part of this, we’re investing alongside the British Geological Survey to ensure the CO2 Stored website and database provides researchers, industry and other interested bodies with the best available knowledge and supports the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy over the long term.”

Only choice

CCS refers to the process of removing CO2 from power plants, compressing it into liquid form, then piping it to storage in deep geologic formations.

The Green Alliance have claimed the technology ‘the only choice’ to decarbonise British industry, while the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) – which built the CO2 Stored database in the first place – claims that CCS combined with biomass can help the UK deliver negative emissions.

Robert Gatliff, the director for energy & marine geoscience at the British Geological Survey said: “The North Sea has the potential to develop into a major global hub for this new decarbonising technique. The release of this database is another step towards trials and commercial storage of CO2 as a contribution to tackling the effects of burning fossil fuels.”

Brad Allen

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