OPINION: First movers in the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry are necessary to scale and test technology, as long as work is done to actually deploy the projects.

CCS is a growing field for decarbonisation with more and more companies joining new collaborations and pledging to capture and store large amounts of carbon dioxide. So far, most of these projects are just that — pledges.

Rarely have we seen hubs or alliances in the US move beyond the talking stage.

This may be the fault of the technology and projects’ early age, but it may signal a lack of leadership in the sector.

Many of these hubs do not have clear operators or leaders, rather they involve several companies that all plan to share carbon dioxide transportation and storage infrastructure.

Without clearly indicated operators for the hubs, there is no one to lead the deployment of such infrastructure, and no one to take accountability for the success of the projects.

Forming collaborations and new partnerships is certainly a step toward progress in reducing high industry-wide emissions, but the industry needs to ensure it is not all talk and no game.

Previous CCS experience, abundant pore space, and high regional emissions are all promising factors to begin a hub, but customers cannot trust a project until it starts deploying its storage infrastructure.

These preliminary collaborations are no doubt vital in bringing together the necessary actors for successful CCS projects, but enough commitments have been made.

It’s past time to see tangible work begin.

(This is an Upstream opinion article.)

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