Carbon capture 'a gift for fossil fuels industry'

The fossil fuel industry has spent two decades studying how carbon capture and storage could be used to prolong the lifespan of fossil fuel deposits.

The industry has long recognised carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a potential means not only to reduce planet-heating emissions but also to extract additional oil and gas.

A 2015 report from the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage research partnership proposed that carbon capture could extend the life of oil fields while storing several billion additional barrels of crude oil.

However, concerns have been raised that oil companies could use carbon capture to maximise their profits.

The industry has long known about this potential practice and even acknowledged it in a report from the UK gas and electricity regulator.

However, oil companies have denied any plans to use enhanced oil recovery despite making preparations for it in the past.

The UK government has also championed the potential for carbon capture to reduce emissions from fossil fuel sites.

Critics argue that the industry is fundamentally at odds with the climate action that the technology purports to advance.

According to some estimates, using carbon capture to extract oil could cancel out the benefits of the technology.

This story is the first part of a DeSmog series on carbon capture in Europe and was developed with the support of Journalismfund Europe.

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