Irish energy group launches carbon capture scheme

20 August 2008 - Providence Resources, an Irish oil and gas group, is launching a project that could lead to the first carbon capture & storage (CCS) scheme in the British Isles.

Providence Resources is working with Star Energy Group, a UK gas storage company owned by Petronas of Malaysia, on the Ulysses Project.

The scheme will evaluate the Kish Bank Basin in the Irish Sea to decide whether its underground saline reservoirs can be used for carbon sequestration and natural gas storage.

The viability study will take around one year and, if successful, will target use by two Dublin-based power plants called Poolbeg, together owned by Ireland's Electricity Supply Board. Neither of the Poolbeg plants currently captures carbon emissions.

The joint venture was recently given a three-year licensing option over seven blocks in the Kish Bank Basin by the Irish government's Department of Energy, Communications and Natural Resources.

Although that licence focuses on the oil and gas exploration potential of the basin, the project will examine whether the area can both reduce Ireland's carbon footprint and increase its natural gas storage capacity, a national objective for the Irish government.

The need for more natural gas storage has arisen because of an increase in energy consumption in Ireland. The potential storage site is around eight miles offshore from Dublin and one mile beneath the seabed.

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