Viking CCS project; Source: Harbour Energy

BP and Harbour rolling up sleeves to bring UK’s ‘transformational’ carbon capture and storage project to life

The UK-headquartered energy giant BP has joined forces with Harbour Energy to develop a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project located close to the heavily industrialised Humber region. This CCS project could enable billions of pounds of investment while helping the UK to decarbonise and reach its net-zero goals.

Viking CCS project; Source: Harbour Energy

Under the terms of the agreement, Harbour will continue as the operator of the Viking CCS project with a 60 per cent interest while BP will acquire a 40 per cent non-operated share. According to Harbour, this brings together “two of the most experienced” operators in the North Sea and follows the UK government’s recent decision to launch Track 2 of its CCS cluster sequencing process, and its recognition that Viking CCS is “one of two leading transport and storage system contenders” for this process.

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Linda Z Cook, CEO of Harbour Energy, commented: “We welcome the UK government’s recent announcement about the launch of Track 2 and the addition of BP as a partner to this transformational project. Viking CCS has the potential to unlock billions of pounds of investment across the full CCS value chain and is crucial for the UK to meet its emissions reduction targets.”

The two players already share an interest in the Lincolnshire Offshore Gas Gathering System (LOGGS) pipeline, which is intended to be repurposed as part of the project, providing “a unique, low-cost opportunity” to connect customers to the depleted Viking gas fields, which recently had their 300 million tonnes of CO2 storage capacity independently verified, highlights Harbour.

The Viking CCS project – previously known as V Net Zero – which is located close to the heavily industrialised Humber region, has the potential to meet one-third of the UK government’s target to capture and store up to 30 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030. Based on Harbour’s statement, the delivery of the Viking project could be transformational for the region, potentially unlocking up to £7 billion of investment across the full CO2 capture, transport, and storage value chain over the next decade.

As a result, this could create over 10,000 jobs during construction, and provide an estimated £4 billion of gross value add (GVA) to the Humber and its surrounding areas. In addition, the Viking CCS project has access to a planned new CO2 shipping terminal at Associated British Ports’ Port of Immingham, with the potential for shipped CO2 from dispersed emitters elsewhere in the UK and internationally to be transported for permanent storage within the Viking fields.   

The gateway to UK decarbonisation; Source: Harbour Energy
The gateway to UK decarbonisation; Source: Harbour Energy

Anja Dotzenrath, Executive Vice President of Gas and Low Carbon Energy BP, remarked: “We’re extremely excited to be joining Viking CCS, a project which can play an instrumental role in helping to decarbonise the UK and providing CO2 transport and storage as a service to emitters across industry sectors and geographies, including as a future CO2 shipping destination.”

A final investment decision for the Viking CCS project – subject to the outcome of the Track 2 Cluster Sequencing Process – is expected in 2024 and the project could be operational as early as 2027, potentially storing up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.  

Louise Kingham, SVP Europe and Head of Country UK for BP, said: “Our entry into Viking CCS demonstrates BP’s commitment to Backing Britain through substantial investment and helping the country achieve its net-zero goals. Viking CCS could help create thousands of new local jobs and enable supply chains that support growth of CCS in the UK.”

As a reminder, Harbour Energy secured the CO2 appraisal and storage license for the Viking project in October 2021. Recently, the firm entered into an exclusive commercial relationship with the Associated British Ports for the development of a CO2 import terminal at the Port of Immingham, the UK’s largest port by tonnage.

Moreover, Harbour Energy has already put the wheels into motion to showcase the potential of the Viking CCS project by establishing a partnership with RWE to investigate options to capture, transport and store CO2 from RWE’s gas-fired power stations via the Viking CCS project. Due to this, RWE joins Phillips 66, VPI and West Burton Energy as Viking CCS’ capture project partners.