UK's first carbon-storage licensing
This comes as North Sea oil and gas industry cuts greenhouse gas emissions by more than a fifth since 2018.
Licences will be awarded by the NSTA at the beginning of 2023, with the first injection possibly occuring as early as 2027.
There have been 26 bids from 19 companies so far in 13 areas, which sit off the coasts of Aberdeen, Teeside, Liverpool and Lincolnshire.
The UK aims to store 20-30mln tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030 and the areas were selected for their geology, proximity to infrastructure and local industry links.
The NSTA say that as many as 100 carbon dioxide storage sites could be neeeded for the UK to meet the net zero by 2050 target.
As the projects differ in size the first injection of CO2 could be within four to six years after awarding a licence.
Once a licence has been awarded from the NSTA a lease will need to be granted from The Crown Estate or Crown Estate Scotland.
The next steps for carbon storage come as the North Sea oil and gas industry is reported to be on track to meet early emission reductions.
The latest Emissions Monitoring Report from the NSTA shows that greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 14.6% last year, to 14.3mln tonnes of CO2e, making a total reduction of 21.5% since 2018.