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CO2-EOR could drive CCS deployment in UK

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World Coal,

Linking the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the North Sea could create significant benefits to the wider UK economy and provide the most effective way of meeting UK decarbonisation targets, according to a new report from the CO2-EOR Joint Industry Project.

“North Sea oil and gas are facing an existential cost challenge and at the same time the UK is struggling to fund its electricity decarbonisation clean-up,” said Prof. Stuart Haszeldine, Director of the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS), which led the project. “The beauty of this new analysis is that it shows how to help develop big projects in the power industry, while also supporting a transition of the ability and profits from offshore hydrocarbons into new, sustainable jobs.”

According to the report, the linking of CO2-EOR and CCS development could be the driver for both technologies on the UK Continental Self. By creating demand for CO2 – and the CCS projects that would be required to supply it – CO2-EOR would accelerate the commercial development of a CCS industry in the UK and ensure CO2 abatement is achieved more quickly that by any other route.

As a result, public subsidy towards the cost of a low-carbon transition would be reduced. But the economic benefits do not stop there, the report argues. By extending the life of the North Sea oil and gas industries, CO2-EOR would also help to reduce oil imports, maintain employment in the oil and gas sector, develop new capability to drive exports and booth tax revenues.

Despite these twofold economic benefits, there remains a lack of legislative support and fiscal regimes for CO2-EOR in the UK. The report calls for a new supportive environment for CO2-EOR projects, similar to existing brownfield or development allowances to make CO2-EOR in the UK competitive with the alternative global investment opportunities.

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