Collaboration is needed to make CCUS a reality. The technology has been in use for more than 20 years, but needs governmental support – through carbon pricing and other policy measures – to accelerate its deployment. Through the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), we are identifying the policy mechanisms that could be most effective in scaling up CCUS on a regional basis.
And we are working with OGCI Climate Investments to help progress the UK’s first commercial full-chain CCUS project. The Clean Gas Project plans to capture CO2 from new efficient gas-fired power generation and transport it by pipeline to be stored in a formation under the southern North Sea. The infrastructure would also allow other industries in Teesside to store CO2 captured from their processes. The project, which is currently undergoing a feasibility study, could be in operation by the mid-2020s.
We’ve also invested in C-Capture, a company which uses chemicals to remove CO2 emissions from power stations and industrial facilities.
At BP, we are exploring opportunities to deploy CCUS in our own operations and projects. And we are participating in a joint venture in the UAE which uses CO2 from industrial processes to enhance oil recovery.
We support innovation efforts, such as the study by the US National Petroleum Council to examine CCUS technologies and their potential deployment.
Carbon is captured and stored, typically in underground geological formations. The captured carbon can be injected into oil fields to stimulate production or be used to create building and other materials.
CCUS is often referred to as an expensive technology. While it requires significant upfront investment, the overall cost depends on a number of factors, such as the source of CO2 to be captured and transportation. Over time, deployment at scale will bring costs down.
With the average CCUS project today capturing at least one million tonnes of CO2 every year, CCUS offers a cost effective way to decarbonize many energy-intensive industries and transition to a lower carbon economy. It also delivers socioeconomic benefits helping to create jobs and, in some cases, providing a new source of income – with the CO2 sold for other uses.
A study in the UK found that for every £1 invested in carbon capture, the payback to the national economy is almost £5.
At a global level, the advantages of CCUS include: