Oil majors BP, Royal Dutch/Shell and ConocoPhilips have joined forces with Scottish & Southern Energy to develop a new reformer plant costing around £55 million ($100 million) that would convert up to 70 million cubic feet per day of natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen will be used to fuel a linked power plant whilst the carbon dioxide will be pumped back into the North Sea Miller field, initially for enhanced oil recovery but also for storage.

The proposed 350 MW station will be developed at a cost of around £300 million ($546 million) and is expected to be operational in 2009.

Final approval for the project, which would be near Peterhead on the north-east coast of Scotland, is dependent on appropriate policy measures to encourage carbon capture and storage.

The Miller field is 52% owned by BP, Conoco holds 30% and Shell 18%.