Carbon capture and storage

We are working with developers to identify how carbon storage beneath the seabed can help the UK meet its targets on carbon emissions.  

We manage the UK seabed out to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit and, under the 2008 Energy Act, hold the rights for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage within the Gas Importation and Storage Zone (GISZ), which extends out to the continental shelf.

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 in the current DECC delivery programme, a business would need (i) government funding assistance, (ii) a grant of property rights from The Crown Estate and (iii) a carbon storage licence and permit from DECC.

The Crown Estate awards rights for CO2 storage through three documents: an Agreement for Lease (AfL), a 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 DECC.

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