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BP, Shell-Backed ETI Seeks Bids to Find Leaks at Carbon Stores

The Energy Technologies Institute, backed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, is seeking ways to monitor leaks from carbon-dioxide stores after the U.K. started a 1 billion-pound ($1.6 billion) fund for carbon capture.

The ETI, which also includes Caterpillar Inc., EDF Energy Plc, EON AG, Rolls-Royce Group Plc and the U.K. government, invited proposals to design a system that detects seepage of the greenhouse gas after it’s buried underground, the Loughborough-based company said. It will invest as much as 5 million pounds in the project, according to a statement.

The U.K. is promoting technology that gathers power-station emissions for permanent storage in rocks or depleted oil and gas fields beneath the seabed because it allows for fossil fuel generation without adding to pollution. The government started a separate competition for CCS projects yesterday with a fund of 1 billion pounds to help commercialize the technology.

“There is an urgent need to demonstrate the technologies required for carbon capture and storage and appraise potential offshore storage sites in order to design the optimal CCS system,” David Clarke, chief executive officer at the ETI, said in the e-mailed statement.

While leaks from the stores are unlikely, “delivering this monitoring system will be a crucial step in building public and commercial confidence in the acceptability of CCS technology,” he said.

Intentions to bid must be made by June 15 with proposals in by June 29, according to the statement. A system that can monitor leakage “in the shallow subsurface and the marine environment,” should be in place before the first storage site is operational, expected in 2016, according to the ETI.

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