CO2 storage licenses in English Channel up for grabs

CO2 storage licenses in English Channel up for grabs

UK regulator North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has launched a competitive process inviting applications for CO2 appraisal and storage licenses in an area of the English Channel.

The licenses, for which the competitive process was opened on April 30, grant exclusive rights for the exploration and appraisal of potential storage sites for carbon dioxide in the subsurface.

Source: NSTA

Interested parties are invited to submit an application within the first two weeks of the process, with the deadline being Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

Following the deadline, the NSTA will undertake technical evaluations of any applications, and the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning (OPRED) will make an appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations.

In addition to a carbon storage license, a Crown Lease from The Crown Estate is also required to undertake carbon dioxide storage activities within offshore areas.

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The UK Government last year set out its vision for the carbon storage industry pledging up to £20 billion investment and suggesting that it has the potential to store the carbon equivalent of taking 6 million cars off the road, and support 50,000 jobs, by 2050.

In 2023, a number of steps were made in developing the UK’s CO2 transportation and storage industry, including the award of 21 licenses following the UK’s first-ever carbon storage licensing round, the establishment of a dedicated NSTA carbon storage development team to work with operators in the sector, significant progress made by the Track 1 and 2 projects on permit applications with decisions on four Track 1 applications expected to be taken in 2024, as well as a consultation to determine what carbon storage data should be shared and to what timescales is also underway and will assist the development of future sites.

The NSTA recently published two sets of guidance expected to help the industry prepare for first carbon storage injection.