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BGS updates national CO2 storage database

CO2 Stored map showing carbon dioxide storage units offshore UK. Image: BGS CO2 Stored map showing carbon dioxide storage units offshore UK. Image: BGS

More than 60 new CO2 storage units added to British Geological Survey’s national CO2 storage database

BRITISH Geological Survey (BGS) has delivered its first major update of the national carbon dioxide storage database, CO2 Stored, adding more than 60 CO2 storage units located offshore UK.

The UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) funded research by BGS and Heriot-Watt University (HWU) to update the UK national carbon dioxide (CO2) storage database, adding 61 new and updating more than 210 CO2 storage units offshore UK.


CO2 Stored is the UK’s national online evaluation database that identifies the geological storage potential under the UK seabed. Geological storage of CO2 is a key component of industry carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects to permanently reduce release of emissions to the atmosphere.

IDRIC CO2 Stored 2.0 has delivered the first major update of the underpinning data in the UK national database since its population in 2011. Information on oil and gas is confidential for the first five years; this update has added new hydrocarbon field storage data from a 15-year period.

The updated database provides access to 630 potential storage units in the UK, including saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas fields. The update provides:

  • Re-mapping and updated information for stores in the East Irish Sea Basin

  • Data from the Government- and industry-supported Peterhead and White Rose CCS and Strategic Storage Appraisal projects

  • Updates for 215 and addition of 61 hydrocarbon field storage units.

The UK is a global leader in provision of online information via its national CO2 storage resource. Data are freely available and give users access to detailed information on the storage units within the database. It has been the starting point for industry CO2 storage projects, as well as informing Government strategy and providing data for academic research to reduce CO2 emissions in the UK and more widely.

Maxine Akhurst, BGS principal geologist and project leader, said: ‘I’m delighted to announce the first major update of the data underpinning the UK national CO2 storage database by the CO2 Stored 2.0 project. BGS is the national provider of geoscience information for the UK. Up-to-date data is now available to inform industry plans, the UK Government and regulatory strategy, and research to help reduce our CO2 emissions in the UK and worldwide.’

Prof Eric Mackay, leader of Heriot-Watt University’s CO2 Stored 2.0 research, commented: ‘As we come closer to industrial scale roll-out of CCS in the UK Continental Shelf, it is increasingly evident that a mature hydrocarbon basin means there will be greater challenges and opportunities for successful CCS deployment. Data for 61 hydrocarbon field storage units not previously available in the database have been added: as a result, CO2 Stored is an even more comprehensive tool for evaluating opportunities in depleted and depleting oil and gas fields and in neighbouring brine-filled aquifer formations.

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer, champion and director of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre, said: ‘IDRIC’s whole system’s programme of 100 research projects has demonstrated the capacity to be responsive to industry needs and be an engine of green growth. This important research project underpins crucial knowledge to understand the UK’s capacity for permanent geological storage of CO2 captured at the UK’s industrial clusters.

‘CO2 storage enables industry plans to decarbonize by deploying carbon capture, Utilization, and storage (CCUS). Up-to-date and improved understanding of the UK CO2 storage resource is essential to inform scale-up and acceleration of these development and deployment plans by industry.

‘By integrating findings such as the outputs of this project across IDRIC’s research portfolio, we are directly informing plans for decarbonization of the UK’s largest industrial clusters, as well as nurturing transformative collaborations between the clusters and academic research teams local to them.’


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