Carbon Capture and Storage
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can play a key role in the UK economy achieving net zero – in fact, it could lead to the UK offshore oil and gas sector becoming carbon negative.
CCS refers to a variety of processes which capture carbon dioxide emissions, generally from industrial processes. The carbon dioxide can then be transported, including via repurposed gas pipelines, and stored, for example within rock formations below the Central North Sea, including depleted oil and gas reservoirs.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) leads government policy on CCS and published UK carbon capture usage and storage deployment pathway: an action plan” published under the Clean Growth Strategy
The OGA works closely with the government and others to identify existing UKCS infrastructure which could be re-used for CCS. The OGA also asks operators, as part of approving any cessation of production plans, to show that they have considered economic development opportunities, including the CCUS potential, for any infrastructure. In addition, the OGA is a statutory consultee to the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning (OPRED), in relation to operators’ decommissioning plans, in particular whether reuse opportunities or potential have been considered.
Further detail about the licensing regime for carbon dioxide storage can be viewed here.