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S

ince 2012 The Crown Estate has partnered with the British

Geological Survey to develop and host an online CO

2

storage resource ‘atlas’ for the UK continental shelf. The

CO

2

Storage Evaluation Database, known as CO

2

Stored®,

provides online access to over 500 potential offshore storage

units studied in the earlier UK Storage Appraisal Project

(commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute). Information

about geological parameters, potential geological risks and

storage costs is available for saline aquifers and oil and gas fields.

Access is licensed through

www.co2stored.co.uk.

The process of proving CO

2

storage sites to the point where

development decisions can be made is relatively well understood;

nevertheless, characterising large saline formations may take up

to ten years or more. CO

2

Stored® can help speed up the process

of site selection by offering a uniquely valuable resource to

identify candidate stores and their characteristics such as

injectivity and capacity. This information can be used at the

system level to inform infrastructure development options and at

the project scale to progress feasibility studies.

Creating a portfolio of CO

2

storage sites

A portfolio assessment carried out for The Crown Estate by the

British Geological Survey demonstrated the value of the database

and where additional data and analysis are required for

progressing towards the full characterisation of CO

2

storage

assets. An initial portfolio of sites shortlisted to achieve regional

level CO

2

storage scenarios was created by developing and

applying screening processes and criteria to the database. The

sites were tested against four possible UK Carbon Capture and

Storage (CCS) infrastructure scenarios.

A total of 74 selection criteria (mainly geological) were applied in

seven broad categories: capacity, containment, injectivity, cost,

confidence in the data/results, conflicts, and licensing. As an

indicator of improved confidence in the total storage that could be

utilised in the CCS scenarios, the regional storage capacity

identified as ‘high ranked’ amounted to 8.5 billion tonnes

compared to the total UK theoretical capacity of 78 billion tonnes.

Generating appraisal options

A portfolio of storage projects with different characteristics and

risk profiles is less risky than each project separately. Through our

storage portfolio work we have learnt the importance of a

structured approach to identifying key risk characteristics of CO

2

infrastructure projects. Furthermore, whilst storage potential can

be optimised to geological attributes, lowest risk and lowest cost

development will require managing a portfolio of storage

appraisal options that may change with time.

In order to create infrastructure deployment options with inherent

minimal or no regret for investors, the options must be ‘purchased’

by spending money ahead of market demand to generate

sufficient understanding of the resource and the risks associated

with project delivery through to decommissioning. UK CO

2

storage

characterisation carried out to date generally represents only the

initial steps in the process of generating these storage asset

options, but this process is still more advanced than other

member states in Europe. At a European scale, existing funding

mechanisms such as Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe

Facility, along with the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, as they

relate to CCS are not currently designed with the intent of creating

storage options or to optimise the value of expenditure to ‘buy’

such options.

Progressing CO

2

storage

CO

2

storage represents a realistic option for emissions abatement

in low carbon industrial economies. However, in order to de-risk

investment, member states need to make use of learning and

insight gained from generating early stage storage portfolios

alongside managing real appraisal options to enable flexible, no

regrets infrastructure designs that generate cost reduction for the

CCS sector through economies of scale. Bespoke, targeted

government investment in CO

2

storage appraisal is a necessary

prerequisite to generating future option value and to delivering

choices for private sector investment in industrial decarbonisation.

DrWard Goldthorpe andTom Mallows

The Crown Estate

te l :

+44 (0)20 7851 5379

ward.goldthorpe@thecrownestate.co.uk www.thecrownestate.co.uk

With CO

2

geological storage being the key to decarbonising industrial processes,

The Crown Estate is working to create a portfolio of storage site appraisal

options in the UK

Geological storage of CO

2

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

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P R O F I L E

S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N E R G Y