Old oil rigs could become CO2 storage sites
North Sea oil and gas rigs could be modified to pump carbon dioxide emissions into rocks below the seabed, Edinburgh scientists have found.
Refitting old platforms to act as pumping stations for self-contained CO2 storage sites would be 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the structures.
The sites would store emissions generated by natural gas production.
They could also be used to lock away CO2 produced by power stations, helping to combat climate change.
Edinburgh University scientists analysed data from the Beatrice oilfield - 15 miles off the north east coast of Scotland.
They found existing platforms could be re-used as storage sites by making minor modifications.
Using a computer model, they worked out that over a 30-year period, the scheme would be about 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the Beatrice oilfield, which is likely to cost more than £260m.