Acorn CCS awarded CO2 Storage Site Lease Option from Crown Estate Scotland

Crown Estate Scotland, the body responsible for leasing the rights to renewable energy and CO2 storage up to 200 nautical miles from shore, has announced that it has signed its first ever lease option for offshore carbon dioxide (CO2) storage.

Acorn CCS is very proud to be the first recipient of a lease option for CO2 storage for the Acorn CO2 Storage Site located some 100km offshore and around 2km below the seabed of the Central North Sea within the Captain Sandstone formation.

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Acorn is a low-cost, low-risk carbon capture and storage project, designed to be built quickly, taking advantage of existing oil and gas infrastructure and a well understood offshore CO2 storage site. The lease option is a precursor to a full storage lease and allows Acorn CCS the opportunity to continue to progress the detailed studies required to progress the deployment of this large-scale, cost-effective CO2 transport and storage infrastructure in the Central North Sea.

Alan James, Managing Director of Pale Blue Dot Energy and Acorn CCS Project Leader, said: “Securing this lease option from Crown Estate Scotland is a really important step to help us develop one of the UK’s first CO2 transportation and storage networks. Through Acorn CCS, The UK can use legacy oil and gas assets to deliver environmental benefits, unlocking CO2 transportation and storage solutions for other carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) projects along the east coast of the UK.”

Acorn CCS represents an important opportunity for dealing with the very large quantities of future CO2 emissions in the UK and Scotland, and so this important award has been well received all the bodies involved in issuing the lease option.

Colin Palmer, Head of Marine at Crown Estate Scotland, said:

“This is a major milestone for both the industry and Crown Estate Scotland. Making sure that Scotland can use our natural resources to host this type of cutting-edge technology is something we’re very proud to be a part of. We look forward to working with industry and Government to help unlock the potential of this area.”

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands at the Scottish Government also welcomed the lease option agreement saying:

“This is a very important step forward for the Acorn Project and Scotland. Scotland’s key CCUS resource is our vast potential for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Scotland’s ‘over-supply’ of offshore geological storage assets, such as can be found in the Central North Sea, presents us, as a nation, with an economic opportunity in future to be at the centre of a hub for the importation and storage of CO2 from Europe. In such a way we can further help address the threat posed by climate change, while also utilising the skills within Scotland’s energy supply chain.”

Designated as a European Project of Common Interest (PCI), Acorn is an important catalyst for clean growth in the north east of the UK and beyond. Located at the St Fergus Gas Terminal, it is an active industrial site where around 35% of all the natural gas used in the UK comes onshore, making it an excellent location to construct and operate new industrial facilities (such as hydrogen generation) and to initiate an early CCUS transport and storage hub.


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