Offshore carbon dioxide storage in the UK
By Ben M Milligan, on 13 April 2014
‘Offshore CO2 storage’ refers to the injection of liquefied CO2 into deep geological formations beneath the seabed (e.g. depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and saline aquifers) for the purpose of storing it there on a permanent basis. The storage in this manner of captured CO2 emissions from industrial installations and power plants has attracted considerable scientific and technical interest as a potential mitigation response to climate change. A key issue facing policymakers in several countries is how to reconcile policy commitments to develop offshore CO2 storage with other competing – and potentially conflicting – uses of the marine environment. With a view to informing policy responses to this issue, Ben’s paper presents a case study of legal and policy frameworks concerning offshore CO2 storage in United Kingdom. The paper maps key design features of the United Kingdom׳s framework for marine permitting and planning, appraising the extent to which they enable orderly development of offshore CO2 storage in a manner consistent with relevant high-level policy objectives.