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Scotland and the Central North Sea: CCS hub study


The study analysed the infrastructure requirements to develop the carbon capture and storage (CCS) sector in Scotland, maximising the value of CCS and CO2-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR), and to create a CO2 storage hub, focused on the Central North Sea (CNS). It aimed to review: the potential for CO2 capture in Scotland; CO2 storage capacity in the Moray Firth, CNS, including storage combined with CO2-EOR; CO2 pipeline infrastructure - onshore Scotland and offshore in the CNS; the potential for a hub, for example the use of Peterhead Port for CO2 shipping and/or St. Fergus gas terminal for CO2 pipelines; and the economics, and business and regulatory models for CCS infrastructure.


The methodology involved a combination of literature review, technical analysis, and stakeholder interviews.


The study found that Scotland has the potential to grow a CCS industry organically, capitalising on the natural storage assets of the CNS and the associated infrastructure in parallel with the progression of planned CCS projects at Peterhead and Grangemouth. The findings suggest that the CNS provides enough theoretical storage capacity to meet the aggressive UK and European scale CCS decarbonisation requirements for the foreseeable future (e.g. up to 2050). Some of the CO2 transport, storage and EOR infrastructure required to kick start a CCS industry in Scotland is already in place. It is suggested that in combination with the substantial cost offsetting that could be achieved by utilising CO2 for EOR, this can drive forward the industry and play a significant role in decarbonising both power generation and industrial sources in the UK and Europe. Key drivers of Scotland’s CCS opportunities that stakeholders can influence were identified as: energy and climate policymaking; the selection of Scottish CCS power projects; and increasing the ‘capture readiness’ of existing and potential new build large stationary sources of CO2. For offshore, ‘storage readiness’ will be driven by the creation of an attractive value proposition for storage, covering all steps from exploration, appraisal, development, operation and eventual transfer back to the State.


Several recommendations were made for both Scottish Enterprise and other stakeholders to facilitate opportunities for CCS and CO2-EOR. It was recommended that efforts to champion CCS projects, and develop infrastructure for EOR, power and industry in the UK and Europe should be stepped up immediately and continue during the 2010s through: support for early CCS demonstration in Scotland; maximising the UK and European market for CCS in the 2010s and 2020s; supporting infrastructure that targets the CNS; improving CCS readiness and optimising infrastructure; and improving the commercial attractiveness of CO2 transport, storage and EOR.

Author Element Energy Limited
Published Year 2015
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors