A joint industry project (JIP) to investigate mechanisms for creating a CO₂-driven enhanced oil recovery (CO₂-EOR) industry in the North Sea has welcomed Shell as a new industry partner. CO₂-EOR has the potential to bring benefits for the UK offshore industry by improving recovery from depleted oil fields using CO₂ captured from power plants and industry.
Shell joins project leader, Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS), and its existing JIP partners, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, 2Co Energy and Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, as a second phase of research gets under way.
The project is focused on gaining a better understanding of the use of CO₂ in EOR operations, with the aim of extending the life of North Sea oil fields using CO₂ captured from large emitters – such as power plants and industrial facilities – and permanently storing the greenhouse gas in offshore oil reservoirs.
The first phase of research has investigated issues that could affect the development of CO₂-EOR linked with CCS projects, such as the legal and regulatory frameworks and taxation. Various fiscal models are being explored, alongside an investigation of how CO₂-EOR is perceived by government, regulators, NGOs, the public and other stakeholders.
The project partners will now focus on a range of research, including reservoir modelling, further analysis of fiscal arrangements and the carbon balance of CO₂-EOR operations, as well as public engagement.
SCCS Director, Prof Stuart Haszeldine, said:
"We are delighted to welcome Shell to the project as we move into a second phase of research. Not only are they global leaders in CCS development, but they will also bring unrivalled technical capabilities and understanding to the JIP through their oil and gas expertise, especially in the North Sea. This will enable us to significantly build on learnings from the first phase of the project."