UK and Scottish university experts confirm scientific validity of Shell’s N. Sea carbon-capture storage plan

Peterhead power station
Peterhead power station

The Goldeneye reservoir in the North Sea has been independently verified as suitable for the safe storage of carbon dioxide from Peterhead power station.

A team of experts from the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University recently completed an independent external review of the storage plan for the proposed Peterhead Carbon Capture and Storage project – one of the two preferred bidders in the UK Government’s carbon capture and storage programme.

The project, which is led by Shell with strategic support from SSE, proposes to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from an existing gas fired power-station at Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and to store this 60 miles offshore in geological strata at a depth of around 2,600 metres beneath the outer Moray Firth.

The plan is to store 10 to 15 million tonnes of CO2 over a 15-year period commencing from 2020. Additionally, the site is being qualified for 20 million tonnes of storage to allow for potential extension of the injection period. Storage will utilise the depleted Goldeneye gas condensate field with the Captain Sandstone reservoir as the primary storage container.

Dr Andy Chadwick, BGS, who led the review, said: “It is clear that the technical studies carried out by Shell are founded on a comprehensive suite of modern high-quality datasets and are very robust.

“We conclude therefore that the Goldeneye storage site is characterised and understood to a high level of detail and is suitable for the purpose of storing up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 injected according to the specified plan, with the likelihood of significant additional capacity. The British Geological Survey has prepared a signed statement to this effect.”

The full British Geological Survey report, plus a short summary of its main findings, are viewable atmain findings and summary

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