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New Guidance to Aid North Sea Industry in Managing CO2 Storage Sites

UK regulator North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has published two sets of guidance expected to help the industry prepare for first carbon storage injection.

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.

The Guidance for Measurement of Carbon Dioxide for Carbon Storage Permit Applications provides licensees with information on NSTA expectations regarding the proper measurement of CO2 being injected in a storage site and suggestions on how that can be achieved.

According to the NSTA, it is important that injection flow rates are accurately determined, as this information is used in modeling the behavior of the CO2 in the reservoir, and besides the overall volume being injected, the exact composition of the gas is also measured, which ensures that the correct payment is made under the Carbon Trading Scheme.

The second set of guidance, Requirements for the definition of a carbon storage site, storage complex and hydraulic unit, provides clarity on determining the extent of a subsurface storage site and focus for licensees on the area they must manage to prevent/detect leakage.

This advises licensees of the requirement to provide precise definitions of the spaces in which carbon dioxide will be stored and the surrounding areas that it must be contained within, the UK regulator said, explaining that this precise definition is required so that any deviations from the expected CO2 movement and containment are clearly identifiable so that preventative or remedial action can be taken.

The guidance is set to immediately help the licensees of the Track 1 clusters at Hynet and Northern Endurance, and Track 2 at Acorn and Viking, which are the most far advanced projects, as well as new licensees.

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.

Source: Offshore Energy

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