Carbon capture and storage
As demand for energy increases, the world faces a huge challenge: reduce carbon emissions, limit temperature rises and tackle climate change. Carbon capture and storage is a technology that is often talked about as being a part of the solution. Find out more about this technology and the carbon capture projects Shell is working on in the UK.
Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is the name given to a combination of technologies that capture and store carbon dioxide deep underground, preventing its release into the atmosphere.
At Shell, we believe that carbon capture and storage will be an essential technology in helping the UK, and Shell, to achieve our net-zero emissions targets. Our ambition is to work with governments, customers and partners to unlock the potential for CCS to abate emissions in the UK where there are not currently scalable low carbon alternatives.
At Shell, our target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society, and we know that our business plans need to change to make this happen. Our priority is to avoid emissions, and, where that is not currently possible, to reduce emissions. If it is not possible to either avoid or reduce emissions, only then will we turn to the mitigation of emissions, for example through the use of carbon capture and storage technology or nature-based solutions.
In the UK, Shell is part of a number of CCS projects. Find out more below.
CCS projects Shell is part of in the UK
In Scotland, Shell, Storegga (Pale Blue Dot) and Harbour Energy are equal partners in the Acorn project, a project looking to provide critical CCS and hydrogen infrastructure that will help the UK to decarbonise. The aim is for Acorn to be operational in the mid-2020s and then to be storing at least 5 million tonnes of CO2 every year by 2030. Find out more via the Acorn Project website.
Shell is part of the Northern Endurance Partnership, working to develop the offshore CCS infrastructure needed to safely decarbonise two major industrial clusters in the UK – Net Zero Teesside and Zero Carbon Humber. CCS can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from major industrial processes and, if successful, the development of this infrastructure could help support the decarbonisation of nearly 50% of the emissions from the UK's industrial clusters. Find out more via the Net Zero Teesside website.
In the South Wales, Shell is part of the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC), a group looking to decarbonise the region using, amongst other technologies, CCS. South Wales is the second largest industrial emitter in the UK, releasing the equivalent of 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year across industry and energy generation and so the SWIC project could help to significantly reduce emissions and improve air quality in the area. Find out more via the SWIC website.
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Shell’s global CCS projects
As well as the role we’re playing in developing CCS projects in the UK, Shell is also at the forefront of developing CCS technology globally.
In Canada, Shell operates Quest, a fully integrated CCS facility designed to capture, transport and store more than a million tonnes of CO2 annually. Since starting up in 2015, Quest has captured and safely stored 5.5 million tonnes of CO2.
In Norway, Shell is part of the Northern Lights project, a collaboration between Shell, Total and Equinor. The project will include the transportation and permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the Norwegian North Sea and includes CO2 capture from up to two industrial plants in Eastern Norway.
Shell is also a partner in the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Australia which will include the world's largest CCS operation when complete. Once fully operational, the project plans to capture 3 to 4 million tonnes of CO2 each year and it is expected that 100 million tonnes of CO2 will be captured and stored over the life of the project.
Shell is currently investigating further opportunities in the North Sea, Americas and Asia and we seek to have access to 25 million tonnes of CO2 per annum of CCS capacity by 2035. Find out more about our global CCS projects here
Find out more
Interested in learning more about CCS? Why not listen to Shell’s Energy Podcast: ‘Carbon capture and storage: a technology to tackle climate change?’.
Additionally, Shell is one of four sponsors of a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London exploring the role for carbon capture in decarbonisation. Showcasing the cutting-edge technology and nature-based solutions being developed to trap carbon dioxide released by human activity, ‘Our Future Planet’ answers questions like: ‘How does CCS work?’ and ‘What can we do with carbon dioxide after it’s been captured?’. The exhibition will run until September 2022. Find out more and book to visit via the Science Museum's website.
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