Carbon capture and storage

We own and manage the UK seabed out to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit and hold the rights for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage within the Gas Importation and Storage Zone (GISZ), which extends out to the continental shelf. 

We own and manage the UK seabed out to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit and, under The Exclusive Economic Zone Order 2013, hold the rights for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage within the Gas Importation and Storage Zone (GISZ), which extends out to the continental shelf. This Order came into force on 31st March 2014 and effectively incorporated The Gas Importation and Storage Zone (Designation of Area) Order 2009, which had been established under the 2008 Energy Act.

CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere whenever fossil fuels are burned. One opportunity to help prevent CO2 building up in the atmosphere - with potentially adverse environmental consequences - is to 'capture' the CO2, and then permanently dispose of, or 'store', it deep underground.

In order to undertake a carbon storage project on the continental shelf a business would need (i) government funding assistance, presumably from BEIS who are looking at the need and funding requirements for CO2 (ii) a grant of property rights from The Crown Estate and (iii) a carbon storage licence and permit from BEIS.

The Crown Estate will award rights for CO2 storage through three documents: an Agreement for Lease (AfL), a storage lease, and a pipeline lease (if necessary). The AfL grants to the holder a time limited exclusive option to proceed through to a pre-agreed lease once a number of conditions have been met, including obtaining a storage permit from BEIS.

The holder of a carbon storage AfL or lease may not interfere with the rights of petroleum licence holders operating in the same area of the continental shelf. Therefore, in some situations, holders of a carbon storage AfL or lease and petroleum licence holders in the same area of the continental shelf may need to reach agreement on how their rights can be exercised consistently with each other.

The Crown Estate understands from the carbon storage industry that the AfL gives the AfL-holder a basis for negotiations with holders of overlapping petroleum licences before any carbon storage lease is actually granted. This means that agreement with the petroleum licence holder may be reached earlier and so may enable the carbon storage project to advance more quickly once a lease is granted.

Balancing the Carbon Cycle

Balancing the Carbon Cycle provides an overview and introduction to Carbon Capture and Storage as well as discussing some of the important issues to be addressed for it to become part of the low carbon energy portfolio in the UK and across Europe, including:

  • How policy drives investment behaviour
  • Current market failures
  • Commercial innovation and new business structures
  • The option value of CCS for future low cost decarbonisation.

Balancing the Carbon Cycle

CGI of carbon storage

CO2 Stored website

The Crown Estate and the British Geological Survey have developed 'CO2 Stored', giving access to world leading information on carbon dioxide (CO2) storage data around the UK continental shelf.

This website enables stakeholders to understand the role CCS can play in supporting a diverse, affordable and secure energy supply in the UK.

CO2 Stored website

CO2 Stored