A new study aims to find the UK’s best carbon storage sites on the country’s journey towards net zero.
Researchers at Heriot-Watt University suggest the gas fields of the southern North Sea could be well-suited to storing the greenhouse gas – as well as being located close to the industrial hubs of Teesside, Humberside and the Thames estuary, it also features a number of depleted gas fields that could be used to trap and store greenhouse gases.
The study will map the geological features of the landscape and assess their carbon storage potential, as well as calculating where leakages may take place.
It has received £1.4 million of funding from the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), the UK regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), offshore operators and data owners.
Professor John Underhill said: “If we are to reach net zero targets we must make serious progress in carbon capture and storage.
“We are going to systematically examine the geology of these sites and determine which critical factors allow carbon to be safely stored over long, geological timescales.
“We must do this correctly and on a large scale. We won’t get a second chance to get this right, as all credibility will be lost if leakage takes place from a poorly-selected site.”