UK oil & gas player pursuing CO2 storage license in Greece

UK oil & gas player pursuing CO2 storage license in Greece

EnEarth, a subsidiary of the London-based oil and gas company Energean, has submitted a formal application to the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company (EDEYEP) for a CO2 storage license in Greece.

The application seeks to obtain approval for the suitability as a CO2 storage site as specified in the Investigation Permit and therefore the activation of the right to store CO2 at Prinos, located in the vicinity of Kavala, NE Greece.

Source: Energean

The application includes a report demonstrating Energean’s technical capability and competence, around 50 separate technical reports demonstrating the suitability of the proposed site and the CO2 storage complex as a safe and reliable storage facility, a detailed description of the projects required in the context of the CO2 storage activity, as well as the proposal for the revision of the existing regulatory framework as formulated by the U.S. 48416/2037/E.103/2011 joint decision in accordance with the guidelines of the European Commission, considering the existing European precedent in corresponding storage projects.

Energean obtained an exploration permit for CO2 storage in the Prinos field in September 2023.

The project would be developed in two phases, with the first focused on re-purposing existing infrastructure and rapidly achieving an injection capacity of 1 MtCO2/year. The facility will be able to receive CO2 in compressed form by the end of 2025 and further expand to receive CO2 in liquid form by mid-2027. The first phase of the project may accommodate around 10% of Greece’s industrial emissions on an annual basis.

The second phase is designed to accommodate an injection capacity in the range of 3 MtCO2/year of liquid CO2 for 25 years.

Higher injection rates for shorter time periods are also being studied to accommodate market demand until additional storage becomes available.

“The submission of the application is an important step for the implementation of the project and demonstrates the total commitment of EnEarth and the Energean Group for the c.500 million-euro investment in the first phase. Acquiring the Storage License will guarantee the implementation of the Prinos storage project on time,” said Katerina Sardi, Managing Director and Country Manager of Energean in Greece.

Following the recent completion of the pre-notification process, which started in June 2023, the Greek government is expected to submit the official notification of the request for approval of a State Aid, based on the Climate, Energy & Environmental Aid Guidelines (CEEAG), a prerequisite in the process of accessing the funds designated to the project, as approved under the Recovery & Resilience Facility (RRF).

EnEarth plans to complete and submit the environmental and social impact assessment during the summer. The non-binding market test will begin this summer, with the aim of completing the binding market test within the year.

This would permit binding contracts to be signed with selected industrial emitters, and the final investment decisions (FIDs) will be taken by both EnEarth and emitters. This will build on the ten non-binding memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed with emitters from Greece and neighboring countries.

“The importance of the project is highly significant for the Greek and regional socio-economic dynamic. Multiple businesses and therefore many jobs will be dependent on a viable CO2 storage facility at Prinos. The project will benefit the environment, the Greek economy, and local communities. The unfortunate end of the gas storage project in South Kavala should be a guide in order to avoid the failures of the past and for this new project to proceed safely and in the shortest possible time,” Sardi said.

The objective of Prinos CO2 storage is to contribute to local and regional decarbonization efforts by storing captured CO2 from hard-to-abate economic activities, Direct Air Capture technologies and BECCS, the shipping industry, and more. This project aligns with and is an integral part of the Mediterranean CCS Strategic Plan developed by France, Italy, and Greece, aiming to create the first industrial/commercial-scale CO2 storage hub in the Southeast Mediterranean.