UK regulator launches consultation on new carbon storage data powers

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has launched a consultation on information and sample-related matters in Carbon Dioxide Appraisal and Storage and Petroleum Licences, and the principle of new data powers in support of energy security and the transition to net zero.

The UK regulator is aiming to gather feedback from the UK oil and gas and carbon storage industries on whether it should be given similar data retention, reporting and disclosure powers in respect to carbon storage licensees’ activities.

The consultation also covers the principle of requiring the appointment of Information and Samples Coordinators, requiring information and sample plans for carbon storage licenses, said to be similar to those for petroleum licenses, and also the principle of the NSTA gaining a general information gathering power.

The consultation, which opened on 18 January, will run until 1 March.

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The NSTA launched the UK’s first-ever carbon storage licensing round in June 2022, putting 13 areas available for bids.  

The licensing round attracted 26 bids from 19 players. The UK regulator plans to award licenses early this year, while the first injection could occur as early as 2027. 

The areas are located off the coast of Aberdeen, Teesside, Liverpool and Lincolnshire in the Southern North Sea, Central North Sea, Northern North Sea, and East Irish Sea and are made up of a mixture of saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas field storage opportunities.