The UK Government has increased its focus on carbon capture, utilisation and storage, aligning itself with strategies such as the 2020 Ten point plan, which lays out a commitment to deploy CCUS in ‘clusters’ in addition to capturing 10 MtCO2/y (ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year) by 2030.

These new schemes also require careful planning when deployed sites come to be closed and decommissioned. Current legislation states that, upon closure and decommissioning of an offshore CCUS storage site, all installations and injection facilities must be removed.

It also states that, in order to achieve a clear seabed, free of any post-closure storage site-related detritus, all other items of equipment, infrastructure and materials that have been installed or drilled are expected to be entirely removed for onshore disposal.

To address these concerns, the Government has begun an open consultation which sets out to seek views from those in CCUS-related industry, investors and developers, environmental and offshore regulatory authorities, and NGOs for establishment of a funded decommissioning regime.

Closing at 11:45pm on 26th September 2021, the consultation also aims to ensure the Polluter Pays Principle is met, while also encouraging investment in the sector.