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Scottish and Cypriot scientists explore storage in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Scientists from Scotland and Cyprus have formed a research partnership that could open up a new frontier for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, as part of a budding hydrocarbons industry in the eastern Mediterranean, says SCCS in a recent press release.

Photo: Ian Britton

The agreement between the University of Nicosia’s Centre for Green Development and Energy Policy (CGD) and Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) will seek funding for researchers from the far reaches of the European Union to work together to identify likely geological CO2 storage sites beneath the Mediterranean Sea to the south of Cyprus.

Using methodology developed in previous SCCS projects to assess CO2 storage capacity in the North Sea, the scientists will study seismic data and other information to build a picture of storage sites – including depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers – which could boost Cyprus’s capacity for tackling carbon emissions.

Despite renewable energy targets, fossil fuels are expected to be part of Europe’s energy mix for many decades. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) – a chain of technologies that captures and stores CO2 from large point sources – could help countries manage their carbon footprint if used at commercial scale. However, CCS relies on the availability of suitable storage sites.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director, said: “Our research agreement with the University of Nicosia’s Centre for Green Development is an exciting development for SCCS. It brings together expertise from both research groups for the shared goal of opening up new opportunities for CO2 storage, as a fledgling hydrocarbons industry in Cyprus plans its future. It will also provide excellent training opportunities for staff and students.”

Dr Marios Valiantis, Director of the Centre for Green Development and Energy Policy at the University of Nicosia said: “Cyprus is getting ready for what we hope will be a big new offshore oil and gas industry. The government has said that it would like to progress plans for CCS too, following the European CCS Directive. This led us to the expertise of SCCS and Professor Haszeldine, and we look forward to working with SCCS to jointly develop some plans to put before the government of Cyprus. By developing Carbon Capture and Storage alongside the hydrocarbon industry, we aim to grow our economy without contributing to climate change.”


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