Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is vital to the UK reaching net zero by 2050. It is an established process which prevents harmful greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere.
It involves capturing carbon emissions from industry and then transporting the gases in pipelines to depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers for storage and monitoring.
The UK North Sea boasts substantial storage potential which can be used for this purpose and the North Sea Transition Authority is working with government, industry and regulators from other sectors to realise this potential.
We regulate the offshore carbon storage industry by issuing licences – and eventually permits – to companies who wish to transport and store carbon emissions under the seabed. We evaluate proposals for storage sites to ensure there is no significant risk of leakage before a permit for storage operations is granted.
Our extensive knowledge of the North Sea, and our work with other regulators, helps us ensure that seabed space is used wisely and that important industries such as CCS, oil and gas, and offshore wind can co-exist.