The team at Pale Blue Dot Energy are delighted to have received formal notification from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) that they are the first recipients of a carbon dioxide (CO2) appraisal and storage licence since the OGA was established as an independent regulator and the licensing authority for offshore carbon dioxide storage in the UK.
This award follows on from the Acorn CO2 Storage Site Lease Option issued by Crown Estate Scotland last week, and provides Pale Blue Dot with an ‘Initial Term’ CO2 Storage Licence for a four year period. These documents together allow the project to undertake the detailed characterisation work required for a full Lease and Storage Permit to permanently store CO2 in the Acorn CO2 Storage Site.
Alan James, Managing Director of Pale Blue Dot Energy said: “Securing the CO2 Storage Licence is a really important step to help us develop one of the UK’s first CO2 transportation and storage networks. Through Acorn CCS, Scotland can use legacy oil and gas assets to deliver environmental benefits, unlocking CO2 transportation and storage solutions for other CCUS projects along the east coast of the UK.”
Alan also welcomed the endorsement of UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry, who said: “This project shows our modern Industrial Strategy in action as companies, backed by government, seize the economic opportunities of moving to a greener, cleaner economy. Industry has a crucial part to play in meeting our world-leading ambition to develop and deploy this cutting-edge technology to reduce emissions so it’s great to see more key players joining the race to build the UK’s first facility.”
Dr Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the OGA was keen to emphasise the organisation’s support for developing CCUS in the UK and highlighted the important role that infrastructure reuse opportunities can play. Dr Samuel said: “The OGA fully supports the transition to a low carbon economy and can play a role in the transition. We undertake a wide range of activities which complement this, including licensing carbon capture usage and storage projects such as this.
“We welcome the government’s recently-announced Action Plan to develop the UK’s first carbon capture, usage and storage projects and are continuing our close working with the government and others to identify existing UKCS infrastructure which could be re-used. We are also looking closely where else we can play a role, including the role of gas as a transition fuel; reducing emissions in flaring and venting; considering CO2 opportunities for EOR; and where suitable bringing attention to energy integration with renewables, including gas-to-wire.”
Under the terms of the OGA licence, Pale Blue Dot are required to submit and be awarded a Storage Permit before CO2 injection could begin at the Acorn CO2 Storage Site, the team are eager to get started on this important work, to ensure the UK is ready to meet the recently reinstated Government ambition to have deployed CCUS in the UK by the mid-2020s.