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Act on Offshore Monitoring (ACTOM)

New Orleans coastline. Photo by Jackson Jost on Unsplash

Completed project

Project start: September 2019  |  Project end: August 2022
Principal Investigator: Jerry Blackford
Other participants from PML: Darren Snee, Dr Marius Dewar

ACTOM developed the capability for cost-effective monitoring of offshore carbon storage projects as part of Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), aligning industrial, societal and regulative expectations with technological capabilities and limitations. 

At the core of the project was a web based pre-operational tool-kit to deliver new abilities to design a site specific marine monitoring programme that will ultimately:

  • enable regulators to quantifiably assess that a proposed monitoring strategy delivers an acceptable standard of assurance.
  • enable operators to properly plan, cost and adapt monitoring strategies to site specific circumstances.
  • enable regulators and operators to communicate to the effectiveness of proposed monitoring strategies to enable informed societal consensus in view of marine spatial planning.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is an approach to anticipate and assess implications and expectations of new technologies on society, a framework increasingly being used in marine environmental studies and in biotechnology and innovation. ACTOM used this framework in CCUS, considering the technology in view of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In an extension of this, potential legal conflicts between storage projects or other uses of the seas, were addressed in view of marine spatial planning.

By viewing CCUS and offshore storage in light of the Sustainable Development Goals and in the RRI framework, the project eased communication of the benefits of the technology whilst addressing the uncertainties and risks in a coherent way.

ACTOM Decision Support Tool
A schematic of the ACTOM Decision Support Tool. This utilizes site specific information and a variety of algorithms to recommend optimal monitoring strategies for offshore geological storage sites.


ACTOM enabled stakeholders to access and interpret a range of software tools that providing optimized and cost-benefit quantified monitoring and environmental impact assessment for offshore geological carbon storage.