100 North Sea storage sites needed to meet 2050 CCUS demand, new report

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The volume of carbon dioxide being injected into the North Sea by 2050 will be equivalent to the natural gas currently being extracted from the basin, according to a new report from global energy consultancy Xodus.
That scale of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) will require some 100 reservoirs, more than 7,500 kilometres of new pipelines and dozens of onshore emissions capturing and gathering sites.
The Forecasting the North Sea CCUS infrastructure to 2050 report which was produced in partnership with Subsea7, is designed to be used as a tool for assessing the relative cost efficiency of CCUS projects.
Through a detailed analysis, Xodus assessed 560 potential storage sites, existing North Sea gas pipelines and potential new infrastructure to rank the cost efficiency of different CCUS initiatives.
It is hoped that this whitepaper will support CCUS operators and stakeholder to make better informed investment decisions.
Europe is the only leading economic region that has its largest hydrocarbon basin at the heart of its economy.
About 40% of European industrial emissions are generated within 500km of the North Sea, a strategic advantage in reducing the cost of developing CCUS projects.
Steve Swindell, CEO of Xodus, said: “If we’re to get to net-zero in an orderly and timely manner, pioneering technologies like CCUS are a necessity, not an option.
“Fortunately, the North Sea’s world-class oil and gas industry provides the perfect foundation for the rollout of carbon capture, with the potential to repurpose and build around existing infrastructure.
“But the outlook for this crucial technology is somewhat vague with many question marks around timing, volume and prime locations for locking away emissions. Our study analyses many of these uncertainties by examining the infrastructure needed to enable deployment at scale.
“We have developed this tool to generate scenario-based forecasts of how Europe’s CCUS sector will mature up to 2050, a major asset in helping developers to make educated and accurate investment decisions.”
James McAreavey, head of CCUS at Xodus, said: “It will require a Herculean effort to deliver CCUS projects at the scale Europe needs, but the enormous benefits of doing so are obvious.
“There is the chance to make the most of existing synergies with the offshore oil and gas industry and reuse miles of existing pipelines that may otherwise need to be removed from the North Sea.”

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