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Who wants North Sea CCS, and why? Assessing differences in opinion between oil and gas industry respondents and wider energy and environmental stakeholders

Gonzalez, Adrian; Mabon, Leslie; Agarwal, Abhishek


Adrian Gonzalez

Leslie Mabon


Although Scotland and the wider UK is making good progress with research and development towards deployment of offshore carbon capture and storage, there is increasing divergence in opinion on the necessity of CCS for meeting climate change targets. Oil and gas operators appear optimistic about the technical feasibility of CCS; whereas civil society and NGOs are increasingly vocal in their scepticism towards the necessity of CCS in a net-zero society. Given that operators’ expertise may be required to support offshore CO2 storage given their subsea experience, and that civil society is important in shaping government and public opinion, this divergence may be a challenge to offshore CCS deployment in the UK and elsewhere. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the grounds on which oil and gas operators’ views on CCS differ from a wider range of stakeholders, through a survey and in-depth interviews. Our results show that people with more knowledge of CCS are more likely to support its deployment, and that strong belief in anthropogenic climate change is lower – albeit rising – among oil and gas respondents. Our results also show concern that the net-zero transition may have negative effects for carbon-intensive regions, and that storage expertise is the UK’s strongest skill set for CCS deployment. We suggest that across a range of stakeholders, the value of CCS is thus most likely to lie in specific applications (e.g. hydrogen) and/or very specific localities (e.g. places with existing subsurface knowledge and skills), rather than widespread deployment as a mitigation technology.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 16, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 28, 2021
Publication Date 2021-03
Deposit Date Nov 8, 2021
Journal International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Print ISSN 1750-5836
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Article Number 103288
Keywords Carbon capture and storage, Just transition, North Sea, Offshore CCS, Oil and gas
Public URL