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Department of Energy and Climate Change

25 Sept 2009 - Press Release - UK leading the way on CCS ahead of hosting international summit

25 Sept 2009 - Press Release - UK leading the way on CCS ahead of hosting international summit

London to host major international carbon capture and storage summit

North Sea has potential to store over 100 years worth of UK power station CO2 emissions

International energy and environment Ministers will converge in London on 13 October 2009 to move international collaboration on carbon capture and storage forward ahead of the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen.

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), hosted by the UK and Norway, will bring together Ministers from 23 countries as well as the European Commission and industry stakeholder and build on the foundations of the G8’s ambition to launch 20 CCS demonstration projects globally by 2010.

Ahead of the talks DECC is launching a consultation today which aims to harness the huge potential of the North Sea for storing CO2. The consultation proposes the regulatory framework to ensure that exploration, development and management of the potential storage sites is safely carried out and effectively coordinated with other uses of the sea.

The consultation on license conditions for the storage of CO2 in the North Sea starts today and is open for three months.

CCS technology captures the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel fired power stations and other industrial plant and stores them in deep formations under the ground. The UK will host up to four demonstrations of the technology.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:

“There’s enough potential under the North Sea to store more than 100 years worth of CO2 emissions from the UK’s power fleet. We are also working closely with Norway and other North Sea Basin countries to ensure the North Sea fulfils its potential in the deployment of CCS in Europe. We want to get the UK regulatory framework in place so we can harness that potential and make the North Sea part of the CCS revolution.

“Without CCS there is no solution to climate change. As well as getting things in place in the UK and Europe we need that consensus at the global talks in Copenhagen. The meeting in London will be a pivotal part of moving the discussion on CCS forwards.”

Notes to editors

1. The Ministerial session of CSLF will take place on the 13th. Journalists are invited to attend and there will be press facilities. For accreditation please email gerry.millar@decc.gsi.gov.uk. DECC will issue a full operational note ahead of the event.

2. ONE NORTH SEA PROJECT – UK and Norway have commissioned a joint study, as an input to the North Sea Basin Task Force, with the aim of establishing a clear vision of the potential role of the North Sea in the future deployment of CCS in Europe by the end of the year. A preliminary report will be made available at the CSLF Ministerial Meeting.

3. This estimate has been made using 2008 UK Provisional Figures for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (on DECC’s website) and storage capacity data provided by BGS as part of a North Sea Basin Task Force report (available on DECC website: http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/ccs/nth_sea_basin/nth_sea_basin.aspx )

4. The consultation document can be found at: http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/co2_storage/co2_storage.aspx

5. Responses should be sent to ricki.kiff@decc.gsi.gov.uk.

6. Technical notes on consultation:
Extent of the Regime

The Energy Act 2008 enabled the UK to exercise its rights under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to declare a Gas Importation and Storage Zone (GISZ) extending beyond the limit of the territorial sea. The licensing regime for carbon dioxide storage will extend throughout this zone, as well as the area of the territorial sea, which will together cover an area extending up to 200 nautical miles from the baselines of the territorial sea.

7. Timing for introduction of the regime
Subject to the outcome of this consultation, DECC aim to make and lay regulations in the first quarter of 2010 in order to bring the regime into force in April 2010.

8. Summary of consultation proposals
Developers will need to work with The Crown Estate (TCE) to obtain a lease for the offshore area they wish to exploit for storage. The lease will define the coordinates of the area and the licence will reference these. DECC and TCE will work closely together to ensure that the lease and the licence can be progressed in parallel.

To undertake offshore storage, developers will need to obtain an offshore carbon storage licence from DECC. The licence acts as the regulatory framework to obtain further consents to explore, develop and operate the storage facility. The consultation document sets out a draft Regulations implementing Directive 2009/31/EC on the geological storage of carbon dioxide in UK law, and a draft of the proposed licence.

Under the licence developers will be required to apply for a storage permit within the meaning of the Directive for approval of the project by DECC’s engineers and specialists. This is similar to how the petroleum licence works. Approval of the permit constitutes development consent and allows construction to proceed. The application has to provide a full characterisation of the storage site, showing that it will reliably and permanently retain the quantity of CO2 proposed; a monitoring plan; a corrective measures plan to address any significant irregularities or leakages; a post closure plan detailing decommissioning, monitoring and management arrangements for the site after injection of CO2 has ceased; proof that adequate financial security will be in place before injection commences; and other relevant information.

The licensing regime will regulate storage in depleted and partially depleted hydrocarbon fields under the sea bed and in non hydrocarbon geological features such a deep saline formations; and exploration and appraisal activities aiming at the use of particular sites for such storage.
 

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