News that oil companies could make "serious profit" by pumping carbon dioxide from power plants into oil fields is good news for the UK economy. That’s according to Scottish-based M&C Energy Group.
However the consultancy expressed concern that the UK government should do more to pioneer this new industry.
David Hunter, M&C’s energy analyst commented:
"Using carbon dioxide from power stations to ‘squeeze out’ more oil from mature oilfields, while at the same time storing greenhouse gases underground, could be a win-win for Britain’s oil reserves and industry.
"There is huge scope for the UK to take the lead in carbon capture technology and clearly the benefits are there."
However M&C, which purchases in excess of £4 billion of energy each year, believe that the government needs to act now or loose Britain’s competitive advantage and give other countries, such as Canada and Norway, the opportunity to take the prize.
Mr Hunter added: "In today’s economic climate, investment is scarce and it is being put behind industries with the most potential for growth.
"Cleary carbon capture is up there, but this is not a one-horse race and the UK government must accelerate its demonstration plans for CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) and work with the industry to secure Britain’s position as the European carbon capture powerhouse.
"Britain has an existing North Sea infrastructure and the skills to make this happen. What’s missing is a clear and unequivocal push by the UK government, and the necessary investment signals.
"The potential bonus for the economy in jobs, investment and production is there, but we face fierce global competition. Let’s hope our government is up to the challenge."