The greenhouse gas, which would have been released into the atmosphere from industrial emitters, is trapped at source using a chemical compound and then processed before being transported to a porous rock formation deep below the North Sea. Once injected below layers of impermeable cap rock it will be stored safely and permanently in a semi-liquid state.
Scotland’s offshore geology is, according to experts, perfect for storing CO2 because of the region’s unique sub-surface characteristics. And because the last fifty years have been spent mapping and testing the composition of rocks below the sea bed in the search for oil and gas, it’s an area that is well understood by geologists.
The British Geological Survey has estimated there is a total of 70 Gigatonnes of CO2 storage potential in UK waters. This is enough to store all the UK’s CO2 emissions for the next 200 years. More than two thirds of this storage capacity is off the coast of Scotland and over one third is close to an existing pipeline network.