Centrica knocks on Wood’s door for UK North Sea support

Centrica knocks on Wood’s door for hydrogen storage project in North Sea

Engineering and consulting company Wood has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by energy company Centrica Energy Storage (CES) for the redevelopment of the UK’s Rough field in readiness for future hydrogen storage.

Rough gas field. Archive; Source: Wood

The contract entails new pipelines, a new unmanned installation, as well as onshore injection facilities at the Easington gas terminal. Wood claimed that this is the first step in making the field hydrogen-ready.

To note, the Rough reservoir, located in the Southern North Sea, has been used to store natural gas for over 30 years, and as per Wood, has the potential to provide over half of the UK’s hydrogen storage requirements.

Centrica recently announced the company’s ambition for the Rough field to become the largest long-duration hydrogen storage facility in the world, however, a final investment decision (FID) for the redevelopment project is still dependent on a government support model that would underpin gas storage investment in the UK.

Steve Nicol, Executive President of Operations at Wood, said: “We are proud to be a part of this innovative redevelopment project, critical to both the UK’s long-term energy security and its industrial decarbonisation commitments. Hydrogen, alongside offshore wind and carbon capture and storage is vital to the UK’s net zero ambition and will be key to decarbonising industries, transport and power.”

Martin Scargill, Managing Director of Centrica Energy Storage, commented: “We have huge ambitions for the future of Rough and our partnership with Wood is an important stepping stone on the path to realising those ambitions. We are ready to invest in futureproofing this critical asset subject to agreeing a regulatory support model that would underpin gas storage investment in the UK.”

To remind, in 2023, Centrica teamed up with Wood to evaluate the feasibility of transforming the Easington terminal into a low-carbon hydrogen production hub. At the time, the companies noted that the development of the Easington low-carbon hub supports Centrica’s goal to achieve net zero by 2045 with hydrogen as a crucial element in achieving the target.

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