A futuristic least-cost optimisation model of CO2 transportation and storage in the UK/UK Continental Shelf

The owners of 8 power plants in the UK have announced interest in capturing and sequestering CO2. Using various criteria from the literature twenty fields in the UK Continental Shelf were selected as possible sinks for the captured CO2. Using a linear programming model, the study determined the least-cost transportation network under various constraints on the volumes of CO2 captured from the sources and the injection rates at the sinks. Four scenarios were developed to gauge the sensitivity of the results to these and to the availability of fields for EOR and Permanent Storage. Depending on the scenario, the optimal transportation CAPEX was found to range between £3.5 and £5.2 billion in real terms. With higher minimum injection rates at the fields, accelerating CO2–EOR investments was found to reduce unit transportation CAPEX compared to waiting for their cessation of production dates. On the other hand a combination of the later availability of the CO2–EOR fields plus a lower minimum injection rate yielded the minimum transportation network CAPEX. The modelling also unveiled the problem of CO2 supply overflows in the longer term. The modelling approach has wide applicability beyond the UK.