Professor John Underhill welcomes first CCS licensing round

Professor John Underhill, the University of Aberdeen's Interdisciplinary Director for Energy Transition, has welcomed the UK's first ever Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) licensing round taking place on Tuesday, 14 June.

Professor Underhill commented: “I welcome today’s launch of the first offshore carbon storage licensing round, which builds on the back of recent bespoke permits and Track-1 Clusters.

“The announcement demonstrates the ambition and commitment that the UK has to reduce industrial emissions and to extend the life of sedimentary basins like the North Sea to meet the challenge to decarbonise. 

“However, being a small, nimble and highly corrosive molecule, particularly in the presence of water, the physics and chemistry of carbon dioxide is very different from long-chained, inert hydrocarbon, controlling the sealing caprock and potential leakage pathways through its overburden.

“Consequently, it remains essential that the right sites are selected for the right reasons, something that demands a critical geological evaluation of each site.

“This technical assessment is vital and the University of Aberdeen is ready to offer its expertise, based on our leading research which is investigating the geological criteria for safe storage, the risk that legacy wells have for seal integrity and the competition for ‘offshore real estate’ between competing technologies like wind, gas fields and carbon stores.”