The Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage Research will use the oil related skills base of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt and the School of Geological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh to examine the options for long-term storage in subsurface structures like deep saline aquifers, oil and gas reservoirs and deep coal seams.

Carbon sequestration is being considered as a major contributor to lowering emissions and according to figures from the IEA, 400 to 10,000 billion tons of CO2 could be stored in deep saline aquifers, 920 billion tons in oil reservoirs, and 40 billion in coal structures.

Carbon dioxide injection into oil reservoirs is a long established technique for improving oil recovery in on-shore oil fields. However, it is not proven for offshore fields and the challenge for the centre will be to use simulation software and laboratory methods to model the various scenarios and investigate the behaviour of these processes which aim to lock away the gases for thousands of years.

The centre will also be interacting with other groups across the world such as the British Geological Survey.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie