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14 June 2022

Statement on NSTA announcement of a CCUS licensing round

The Crown Estate welcomes today’s announcement by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to open a carbon capture licensing round.

Huub den Rooijen, Managing Director of Marine at The Crown Estate, said:

“Today’s announcement by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to open a carbon capture licensing round marks an important step on the road to meeting our national net zero targets.

The Crown Estate is committed to playing its part in achieving net zero, including through the design and implementation of the required seabed leasing process for Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS). We are currently working with partners to establish the most viable route to deliver on CCUS and will update the market on next steps in due course.

Where spatial conflicts occur, due to existing leases or the potential for future leasing in other sectors, we will work with partners to manage competing demands, maximise seabed usage and support a balanced marine environment.

Developing better technologies and using the best available data and evidence is essential to making the most of the limited amount of seabed space available. That’s why in July 2021 we convened the Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-location Forum to identify where the challenges are and accelerate the development of technologies that will make co-location a reality. The Forum, bringing together the NSTA, the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, RenewableUK, the UK Government, The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland, will examine the sites proposed by the NSTA to see how they might best be managed in the interests of all.”

Further information

  • Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) is a rapidly evolving technology which can substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the global economy at an industrial scale. 
  • With carbon capture widely recognised as integral to the UK meeting its climate change target of net zero emissions by 2050, the UK Government has recently expanded on its ambition with a renewed target to capture and store 20 to 30 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year by 2030, and over 50 million tonnes by 2035. 
  • As managers of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The Crown Estate is responsible for granting seabed leases for offshore pipeline transportation, seabed and subsurface rights to developers for CO2 storage. Through this, we aim to accelerate the UK’s path to net zero and create lasting economic, environmental and social value for the nation. 
  • Developers are required to apply for a carbon storage licence, granted by the NSTA, and a storage agreement for lease, granted by The Crown Estate, to develop transport and storage opportunities under the seabed. This will enable them to proceed with a Permit application and a lease if successful. 
  • As we develop our leasing approach, we will publish further information in the CCUS section of our website. 
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