Thursday, March 20, 2008

Carbon Capture in the North Sea

From the Economist 'Filling it all back up again' 8-Mar issue.

Last November Britian announced a competition to build a coal fired plant utilizing carbon capture and storage technologies with the North Sea fields off the coast of Aberdeen as the intended destination. These fields are already equipt to handle high pressure underground gasses so a significant portion of the capital and necessary skill sets already exists.

Ultimately however, North Sea production is in terminal decline and Britian's treasury is worried. Having already peaked at 4.5mmb/d in 1999, and with current producion at 3mmb/d, North Sea oil and gas produciton are expected to further decline in the very near future. Oil and gas firms are by far the largest contributors to the treasury and comprise a significant majority of the 13b (pounds) raised in coropration taxes. To further this, the industry supports 400,000 jobs.

Britian'g governement sees this as a potential opportunity in a burgeoning market however, critics are quick to criticize the government's efforts (time scales in particular) as 'half-hearted' and as a 'superficial display'.

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