NSTA to become offshore hydrogen transport and storage regulator
U.K.’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) is expected to soon assume the role of offshore hydrogen transport and storage regulator following the conclusion of a consultation on the proposal.
According to NSTA, the move is intended to support the industry by enabling pioneering projects to obtain the necessary licences and consents and move quickly into operation.
The legislation coming into effect is expected to mean the following:
- The NSTA will become the licensing/consenting authority for offshore hydrogen pipelines bringing these under similar arrangements currently used for oil and gas pipelines.
- The NSTA will become the licensing/consenting authority for offshore hydrogen storage, enabling the regulator to issue hydrogen storage licences.
- The NSTA will become a consultee to the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning (OPRED) on decommissioning and repurposing for both offshore hydrogen transport and storage.
- OPRED will become the decommissioning and environmental regulator for offshore hydrogen transport and storage.
NSTA said that the move to put hydrogen regulation in place follows the publication of the U.K. Hydrogen Strategy in 2021, which emphasized the role hydrogen can play in the drive to reach net zero. According to the Strategy estimates, 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production could produce hydrogen equivalent to the amount of gas consumed by over 3 million households in the U.K. each year.
To note, the Statutory Instrument was laid in the U.K. Parliament on 6 September, and subject to Parliamentary approval, the legislation will come into effect in 21 days.
Hedvig Ljungerud, NSTA Director of Strategy, commented on the appointment: “This decision highlights the importance of hydrogen in a net zero future and further cements the NSTA’s role in driving forward the energy transition. We fully appreciate the need for an integrated energy basin and firmly believe we are best placed to deliver it. It is also vital for the development of the wider hydrogen economy, which the NSTA will support alongside our ongoing work in carbon storage and fossil fuels.”
Click here to read more about hydrogen in the U.K.