Lease agreement in for North Sea carbon capture and storage project

Lease agreement in for North Sea carbon capture and storage project

The UK’s Crown Estate has awarded an agreement for lease for what could become one of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

East Coast Cluster

The agreement for lease will allow BP, as the lead operator, to further progress the planned Endurance CCS project, a reservoir in the North Sea that would be used to store hard-to-abate carbon emissions captured from carbon-intensive heavy industry in Teesside and Humberside.

According to The Crown Estate, the project has the potential to substantially decarbonize the UK’s industrial emissions, significantly supporting the UK Government’s ambitions to capture and store 20–30 MtCO2 per year by 2030. 

Recognizing that investing in CCS is a long-term commitment, the agreement allows for construction, CO2 injection, as well as monitoring and decommissioning.

“Supporting the development of CCS is a key priority for The Crown Estate, and we are delighted that the Endurance store is now a step closer to delivering on its enormous potential for contributing to net zero and delivering new jobs and thriving communities in one of the UKs industrial heartlands,” said Gus Jaspert, Managing Director of Marine at The Crown Estate.

“The Crown Estate is firmly focussed on maximising the potential of the seabed in support of net zero and energy security. We will continue to work to bring future CCS opportunities to the market, including the development of our own CCS leasing process, ensuring these projects can be undertaken successfully alongside the range of other seabed activities that the UK relies upon.” 

Endurance forms part of the Northern Endurance Partnership’s (NEP) East Coast Cluster, which in October 2021 was selected as one of the first clusters in phase 1 of the UK Government’s CCS cluster sequencing process.

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The cluster also benefits from a license awarded by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), with whom The Crown Estate collaborates in seeking to shape the CCS industry for the benefit of the nation. 

The Crown Estate is also working to design and deliver the required leasing process for CCS developers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, ensuring a holistic view is taken of how new infrastructure sits alongside all other marine users and respects vital coastal environments and habitats. 

In addition, work is being undertaken to establish the Offshore Wind and CCS Co-location Forum in recognition that the co-location of offshore wind and CCS may be required in the future. The forum seeks to identify solutions to the challenges presented by co-locating offshore wind and CCS and help make co-location a reality.