The Observer reported yesterday that BP claims to have a practical solution to disposing of CO2 by pumping it under the bed of the North Sea. They claim that the Miller field could absorb 5 million tons a year of liquefied CO2 which would be pumped from the Peterhead power station into the porous rock where the oil had been. This would be capped by the existing layer of mudstone and would be stored for 10,000 years. And the North Sea as a whole could absorb all the CO2 produced over 60 years by all the power stations of Europe, according to CEO Lord Browne – though he didn’t say what would happen after that.
Apparently the principle has been working for 8 years in Norway’s Statoil operation. What is clever about the BP proposal is that it is also in their interest, since the Miller field is coming to the end of its life and the CO2 would flush out the remaining oil for them. However, they do say that it depends on the government reducing its oil taxes.
This could be a very significant develop at the national level, but it is not an alternative to the need to control emmissions from domestic energy use and travel. So the campaign must continue.