A criteria-driven approach to the CO2 storage site selection of East Mey for the Acorn project in the North Sea

Juan Alcalde* (Corresponding Author), Niklas Heinemann, Alan James, Clare Bond, Saeed Ghanbari, Eric J. Mackay, Stuart R. Haszeldine, Daniel R. Faulkner, Richard H. Worden, Michael J Allen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
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Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an essential tool in the fight against climate change. Any prospective storage site must meet various criteria that ensure the effectiveness, safety and economic viability of the storage operations. Finding the most suitable site for the storage of the captured CO2 is an essential part of the CCS chain of activity. This work addresses the site selection of a second site for the Acorn CCS project, a project designed to develop a scalable, full chain CCS project in the North Sea (offshore northeast Scotland). This secondary site has been designed to serve as a backup and upscaling option for the Acorn Site, and has to satisfy pivotal project requirements such as low cost and high storage potential. The methodology followed included the filtering of 113 input sites from the UK CO2Stored database, according to general and project-specific criteria in a multi-staged approach. This criteria-driven workflow allowed for an early filtering out of the less suitable sites, followed by a more comprehensive comparison and ranking of the 15 most suitable sites. A due diligence assessment was conducted of the top six shortlisted sites to produce detailed assessment of their storage properties and suitability, including new geological interpretation and capacity calculations for each site. With the new knowledge generated during this process, a critical comparison of the sites led to selection of East Mey as the most suitable site, due to its outstanding storage characteristics and long-lasting hydrocarbon production history, that ensure excellent data availability to risk-assess storage structures. A workshop session was held to present methods and results to independent stakeholders; feedback informed the final selection criteria. This paper provides an example of a criteria-driven approach to site selection that can be applied elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105309
Number of pages14
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Early online date28 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Project ACT-Acorn is gratefully thanked for funding this study. ACT Acorn, project 271500, received funding from BEIS (UK), RCN (Norway) and RVO (Netherland), and was co-funded by the European Commission under the ERANet instrument of the Horizon 2020 programme. ACT Grant number 691712. J. Alcalde is funded by MICINN (Juan de la Cierva fellowship - IJC2018-036074-I). S. Ghanbari is currently supported by the Energi Simulation. Energi Simulation is also thanked for funding the chair in reactive transport simulation held by E. Mackay.

Data Availability Statement

Supplementary data to this article can be found online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2021.105309.


  • CCS
  • C02
  • Storage
  • site selection
  • North Sea
  • East Mey
  • Acorn Project


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