UK carbon dioxide storage

The OGA regulates offshore carbon dioxide storage – we are the licensing authority and approve and issue storage permits – and maintains the carbon storage public register.

BEIS lead government policy on carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

When exercising its functions, under the Energy Act 2016, the OGA is required, so far as is relevant, to have regard to the development and use of facilities for the storage of carbon dioxide, and of anything else (including, in particular, pipelines) needed in connection with the development and use of such facilities.

The OGA will work with government, industry and other relevant stakeholders to identify synergies and promote opportunities where development of carbon dioxide storage can contribute to Maximising Economic Recovery of the UK's oil and gas resources (MER UK), and support the drive to net zero carbon by 2050.

Licensing of carbon dioxide storage

The Energy Act 2008 (the Act) provides for a licensing regime that governs the offshore storage of carbon dioxide. It forms part of the transposition into UK law of EU Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide. The Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc.) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2221), which transpose many other requirements of the directive, came into force on 1 October 2010.

The regime applies to storage in the offshore area comprising both UK territorial sea and beyond designated as a gas importation and storage zone (GISZ) under section 1(5) of the Act.

The OGA is the licensing authority for offshore storage except within the territorial sea adjacent to Scotland, which Scottish ministers authorise. In addition to applying for a licence, developers must obtain a grant of the appropriate rights from The Crown Estate or the Crown Estate Scotland.

Application form

Received Application

On 22 June 2020, the OGA published a notification that it has received an application for a Carbon Dioxide Appraisal and Storage Licence pursuant to Chapter 3 of the Energy Act 2008 (the ‘Act’), in the Liverpool Bay Area of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf. The Notification of Application can be viewed here, which includes details of the area covered in the application (the “Area”). 

As of 5pm Monday 6th July 2020, the OGA had not received any additional applications, and will not consider any further applications for Carbon Dioxide Appraisal and Storage Licences for the Area.

Please be aware that (among other necessary consents and approvals) a Crown Estate Lease is required in order to carry out carbon dioxide storage activities in accordance with the Act. The Crown Estate’s policy document dated 12th May 2020 setting out who it will consider applications from for carbon dioxide transportation and storage rights is available at:

Related information

For further information please contact:

Carbon storage public register

Article 25 of the Directive on Geological Storage requires the competent authority to establish and maintain a register of the storage permits granted; and a permanent register of all closed storage sites and surrounding storage complexes, including maps and sections of their spatial extent and available information relevant for assessing that the stored CO2 will be completely and permanently contained.

Section 29 of the Energy Act provides that the OGA must maintain a register containing prescribed information relating to licences. The Act sets out a number of exemptions to information being provided such as information that would be contrary to the interests of national security.

  • Contents of the register

    It is important that the register provides as much information as possible on a storage development and should contain all the items listed below:

     1: a copy of the licence, which will show: name and address of the licence holders and the operator; the appraisal term (during which the storage permit must be applied for); licence assignments if any; whether the licence has been revoked or relinquished; The Crown Estate lease number.

    2: a copy of the storage permit, which will show: the injection period (the operational term); the committed volume of CO2 to be stored over the operational term; the permitted composition of the CO2 to be injected; maps showing the extent of the storage site and the storage complex; the approved monitoring plan (including updated monitoring plans); the approved corrective measures plan; the approved provisional post closure plan; the composition of the financial security

    3: copies of any written opinions received from the European Commission on the draft permit, and the reasons stated by the competent authority in the event that it has departed from those opinions.

    4: estimates of the total volume of storage capacity for carbon dioxide available in the storage site.

    5: notices served by the competent authority.

    6: details of significant irregularities or leakage events and remedial actions.

    7: copies of all other reports to the competent authority.

For full details see: The Public Register

Related documents

Note: Carbon dioxide appraisal and storage licence CS002 terminated on 24 August 2016