UK hands out 20 carbon storage licences

UK hands out 20 carbon storage licences


LONDON, May 22, 2023 – Twelve companies have been awarded 20 concessions in Britain’s first-ever carbon storage licensing round, the North Sea Transition Authority announced on Thursday.

The 20 offshore licences encompass around 12,000 square kilometres, with many located near Aberdeen, Teesside, Liverpool and Lincolnshire.

When all new carbon storage projects are commissioned, they could store 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, representing 10% of the UK’s annual emissions.

Projects are expected to begin coming on line as early as 2029, but will first require operators to obtain leases and approvals.


“The UK’s offshore waters remain the crown jewel of our energy mix, providing energy security, emissions reduction and carbon storage,” said Stuart Payne, chief executive of the North Sea Transition Authority.

“This will require more and more integration and collaboration in a crowded space, and we are working closely with governments and agencies such as The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland to ensure we maximise this amazing potential.”

The carbon storage licensing round opened in June 2022, with applications closing in September 2022.

The 13 areas originally up on offer were split to create 20.

Although bidders cannot officially be announced until they accept the awards, Reuters reported that Neptune Energy won three awards, Spirit Energy won one award and Perenco won one award.

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions stood at around 417 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2022.