What recent assessment he has made of the potential role of North sea oil and gas infrastructure in developing carbon capture and underground storage capacity.
North Sea oil and gas infrastructure can play a crucial role in lowering costs and speeding up deployment if it is repurposed for carbon capture and storage, therefore improving our energy security.
The Greensand project in Denmark has proven the concept of carbon capture, usage and storage, but we know that the supply chain in this country is fragile. Indeed, if others go ahead and develop CCUS, that is where they will go. Companies such as EnQuest in Shetland, which operates the Sullom Voe oil terminal, are keen to do exactly what the Secretary of State is talking about. Would he or the Energy Minister agree to meet me and the operators of EnQuest to hear what it needs to get that exciting project across the line for a final investment decision?
The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about this, but the UK is playing a leading role with its recent £20 billion investment in carbon capture, usage and storage. We have sufficient space to store potentially 78 billion tonnes of carbon under the North sea—equivalent, I am told, to the space occupied by over 15.5 billion well-fed elephants. I would be more than happy to meet him to discuss the potential of the field he mentioned.
Unlike the SNP, who continue to talk down the fantastic Acorn project, which by the way has never actually stopped—[Interruption.]. One of the reasons it has not stopped is because of the over £40 million invested by this Government in the Scottish cluster; £80 million was promised by the SNP but never delivered. What progress has been made to provide access to CO2 storage sites such as those in the North sea for industrial clusters without direct access to those sites by pipeline—for example, through shipping? What advantage can be taken of existing infrastructure at ports located near storage sites, such as Peterhead in my constituency?
My hon. Friend is absolutely right about the £40 million that the UK Government have already spent on the Acorn project. We have track 1 expansion later this year and track 2 will be announced later this year for CCUS. We look forward to further developments. He is also right to highlight the importance of the storage and transportation of carbon; in fact, it is a subject being considered today in the Committee on the Energy Bill. By the way, the largest Energy Bill that the House has ever considered is being passed by this Government.