Crown Estate Scotland signs first lease option for CO2 storage infrastructure

Crown Estate Scotland has signed its first ever lease option to Pale Blue Dot for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage.

Pale Blue Dot’s Acorn CCS project will use existing oil and gas assets on the Aberdeenshire coast to deliver large scale, cost-effective CO2 transport and storage infrastructure in the Central North Sea. The project will be based at St Fergus Gas Terminal.

An option is a precursor to a full lease. It gives the developer confidence that rights to carry out studies can be granted and will allow other work to progress the proposal. Once new consents are secured, permissions and consents from UK agencies are also required. This is the first lease option issued by Crown Estate Scotland for this technology since the organisation was established in April 2017.

Alan James, managing director of Pale Blue Dot Energy and Acorn CCS Project Leader, said: “Securing this lease option from Crown Estate Scotland is a really important step to help us develop one of the UK’s first CO2 transportation and storage networks. Through Acorn CCS, Scotland can use legacy oil and gas assets to deliver environmental benefits, unlocking CO2 transportation and storage solutions for other carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects along the east coast of the UK.”

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s minister for energy, connectivity and the Islands welcomed the lease option agreement: “Scotland’s key CCUS resource is our vast potential for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Scotland’s ‘over-supply’ of offshore geological storage assets, such as can be found in the Central North Sea, presents us, as a nation, with an economic opportunity in future to be at the centre of a hub for the importation and storage of CO2 from Europe.”

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