EnergyPathways

UK firm set on getting hold of gas storage license in its East Irish Sea project area

England-based energy transition-focused player EnergyPathways has confirmed its interest in acquiring a gas storage license situated in the same area as its undeveloped gas field in the East Irish Sea, which is said to have the potential to be integrated with nearby wind renewable generation, gas storage, hydrogen production, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) to enable low emission energy supply in line with Britain’s energy transition agenda.

EnergyPathways

Aiming to turn its plans to deliver home-grown clean energy for the UK into reality through its project at the Marram gas field in the East Irish Sea, EnergyPathways has formally confirmed with the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) its interest and intention to make an application for a gas storage license in an area that includes this project, after the regulator published a notification for such applications on May 29, 2024.

Ben Clube, EnergyPathways’ CEO, commented: “We believe that our technical operating experience, coupled with our commitment to environmental stewardship and strategy to transform EnergyPathways into an effective integrated energy transition company, positions the company well in this application process.

“We continue to maintain an active and constructive engagement with all relevant authorities as we seek to convey how this gas storage potential fits naturally alongside the Marram project and our longer-term vision to develop energy solutions that will support many key elements of UK energy policy.”

The England-based firm has also submitted out-of-round license application requests to the NSTA for two gas storage areas that cover the Knox and Lowry gas fields, which like its planned flagship Marram project, have been deemed development-ready and are perceived to offer prospective gas storage potential. 

Map showing energy infrastructure close to Marram; Source: EnergyPathways

The company sees what it describes as a compelling future commercial opportunity to integrate all three potential gas storage projects as the natural follow-on from developing the Marram project into its wider growth plans to realize the potential of creating its UK Irish Sea energy storage project, an energy hub to harness the large untapped gas resources, wind energy and high-quality geo-storage reservoirs of the UK Irish Sea.

Building on its 46 bcf Marram gas project in shallow water, EnergyPathways intends to deliver a high-value development with ultra-low emissions intensity of 4-6 kg CO2e/boe, representing a carbon footprint that is around 90% lower than LNG imports and can reduce CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes per annum. Recently, the firm tapped MCS Subsea Solutions (MCS) and Mermaid Subsea Services to negotiate the provision of subsea front-end engineering design (FEED) services for the field.

With the first gas targeted in 2025, the company is moving forward with Marram as it is convinced that this project can provide critical gas supply and storage infrastructure for the UK, thanks to engineering and design work confirming the feasibility of its plan to fully electrify the project and develop it for future gas storage use and integrate it into a wider UK Irish Sea energy storage project.

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In a bid to support the UK energy market’s future needs, the firm will incorporate other geo-storage reservoirs, storage infrastructure, and hydrogen production into its flagship Marram development, which is expected to comprise two shallow short lateral production wells. Initially, the field will boost domestic gas supply before transitioning to storage operations and hydrogen production to bolster energy security and efficiency while supporting Britain’s transition to renewable energy.

Furthermore, EnergyPathways is putting the wheels into motion to establish an alliance with engineering contractors to design the electrification of wellhead control systems connected to renewable power sources and battery storage solutions while also considering electrically powered gas compression solutions for Marram gas production and future gas storage use. 

As the East Irish Sea region lies near one of the major grid constraint boundaries in the UK, the company is adamant that this, together with six existing offshore wind farms with 7-8 GW of existing and planned capacity, makes it an ideal location for energy storage and backup gas power generation.

Moreover, EnergyPathways underlines that its proposed energy hub, which is expected to have the capacity to store an estimated 7 TWh of energy, could be connected to regional CO2 storage, the HyNet North-West hydrogen hub, and industrial demand centers to produce “net-zero ready” gas power generation.