Carbon dioxide storage risks to be evaluated

The project includes 27 partners from 9 countries, and is coordinated in Kiel, Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), writes Eurasiareview.

The European Commission (EC) considers CCS as a potentially important technology for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the mitigation of climate change. Since several European states (UK, Norway, Netherlands, Italy) aim to store CO2 below the seabed, more work needs to be done to evaluate the safety of these sub-seabed storage sites. The EU has thus allocated €10.5 million to the ECO2 project to evaluate the likelihood of leakage, the possible impacts on marine ecosystems, and the potential economic and legal consequences of leakage from sub-seabed storage sites.

Potential risks of sub-seabed CO2 storage will be assessed comprehensively by a large team of geologists, biologists, chemists, economists, lawyers and social scientists from leading academic institutions and private companies. The first expeditions to storage sites located in the North Sea and Barents Sea will already be conducted during spring and summer 2011, to monitor the seafloor and evaluate storage safety. After four years they will provide a comprehensive risk assessment and guidelines for monitoring, as well as a best environmental practice guide for preparation and management of storage sites.