BGS news

CO2 storage testbed consultation

BGS and NERC are now seeking views on possible research priorities for a potential new storage testbed

30/03/2021 By BGS Press

BGS has secured funding to scope out options for a CO2 storage research testbed. The testbed will provide the capability to investigate knowledge gaps in geological CO2 storage as defined through review of existing infrastructure worldwide and consultations with stakeholders.

The testbed will provide an innovation platform to develop new techniques and equipment to improve monitoring, reduce costs and further enhance safe storage and open access to and sharing of data, for the benefit of the research community and storage developers.

Finally, the testbed will enable non-technical developments that are vital for underpinning future full-scale commercial systems. This includes providing evidence for policymakers and regulators, including validation that storage technologies are feasible, and to ensure data is available to allow appropriate regulation for the emerging CO2 storage industry. Crucially, the infrastructure will seek to improve public acceptance of this nascent technology by providing a publicly owned and transparent facility for future research and innovation exploration. It is not seen however as a necessary pre-cursor to full deployment which is fully expected to start in parallel to the construction of this Testbed.

Project scope for the outline design

This scoping project will identify a range of feasible location and design options that preliminary technical and permitting evidence indicate are deliverable and desirable. It will provide the evidence and confidence to make the recommendations required to inform future investment decisions, for example, by submitting a proposal to the UKRI Infrastructure Fund in summer 2021.

Objectives of the research facility

  • To provide a world-class research facility to allow academia and industry to investigate issues surrounding subsea CO2 storage. The issues for investigation can be technological, economic, geological, political and environmental.
  • Address the above issues through research to support the commercialisation of CO2 storage by de-risking the delivery of such solutions in the industrial clusters.
  • The facility will, as far as practical, allow researchers to incorporate innovative ideas that are relevant to subsurface CO2 storage, or to facilitate the testing of innovative technologies.

Activities and deliverables

BGS will carry out the scoping and outline design work. The key to this work will be discussions with the wider community of technical stakeholders to seek advice, information and ideas that influence the design, to ensure that the final design will enable useful research to be conducted at the site.

The final deliverable for this project is a report to Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) that sets out the possible design and the business case for the research testbed. The report is to be completed by the end of June 2021.

Consultation timetable

A consultation document is now available for download and completion.

Completed responses should be sent to by 19 April 2021.

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