Five energy majors to develop CO2 transport and storage project in UK North Sea

Oil and gas majors BP, Eni, Equinor, Shell, and Total and National Grid have formed ‎a new partnership, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide ‎‎(CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with BP as the operator.

Northern Endurance partnership graphic - BP
Northern Endurance partnership graphic; Source: BP

This ‎infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) ‎projects that aim to establish decarbonized industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside, BP explained in a statement on Monday.

NZT and ZCH are at-scale decarbonization projects that will kick start decarbonization of industry and ‎power in two of the UK’s largest industrial clusters.

Both projects aim to be commissioned by 2026 ‎with realistic pathways to achieve net-zero as early as 2030 through a combination of carbon capture, ‎hydrogen, and fuel-switching.

According to BP, if successful, NEP linked to NZT and ZCH will allow decarbonization of ‎nearly 50 per cent of the UK’s industrial emissions.‎

NEP has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK government’s Industrial ‎Decarbonisation Challenge, aiming to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to ‎transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the ‎UK North Sea.‎

The £170 million ($222.3 million) Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge is part of the £4.7 billion ($6.1 billion) Industrial Strategy ‎Challenge Fund set up by the UK government to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges ‎using research and development based in the UK.

NEP’s application for funding is an important step ‎towards enabling the development of integrated offshore carbon storage for NZT and ZCH in the UK ‎Southern North Sea.‎

Making CCUS a reality in UK

The application follows the approval by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) of the addition of BP and ‎Equinor alongside National Grid to the Endurance carbon storage licence.

BP noted that this affirms the strategic ‎importance of the Endurance reservoir as the most mature large scale saline aquifer for CO2 storage ‎in the offshore UK Continental Shelf, that can enable industrial decarbonization from both clusters. ‎

BP will lead the Northern Endurance Partnership as operator and the team progressing the project ‎will draw on expertise from across all the partners.‎

Andy Lane, vice president of CCUS solutions at BP and managing director for Net Zero Teesside, said: ‎‎“The formation of the Northern Endurance Partnership is another significant milestone towards ‎developing the offshore infrastructure that will be needed to safely transport and store CO2 from ‎CCUS projects along England’s east coast.

“The partnership and our joint bid demonstrate industry’s ‎willingness to come together and collaborate wherever possible to accelerate making CCUS a reality ‎in the UK, helping to decarbonize the local economy and contributing to the UK’s climate goals”. ‎

Grete Tveit, senior vice president for low carbon solutions at Equinor, said: “Carbon capture and ‎storage is a crucial technology for reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and we are committed ‎to working with others to create real change.

“We believe that with our partners in the Humber, ‎Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership we can deliver deep decarbonization of these ‎major UK industrial clusters using CCUS and hydrogen, safeguarding jobs and helping develop world-leading low carbon expertise that can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net-zero by 2050”.‎

Martin Cook, senior vice president for business development for National Grid Ventures, said: ‎‎“National Grid sits at the heart of the UK’s energy system and we want to contribute to the economic ‎recovery through investing in solutions to support a net-zero future. The Northern Endurance ‎Partnership will channel the extensive experience of its members to develop and deliver the offshore ‎transport and storage infrastructure we need to unlock the enormous benefits of deploying CCUS ‎across the Humber and Teesside.

“We’re delighted to start working together with five really world-class energy companies to deliver a solution that will play a critical role in decarbonizing the UK’s ‎largest industrial heartland and protecting tens of thousands of jobs in the process.”‎

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