Shell, BP, and Eni Secure Licenses in the UK's First Carbon Storage Round
Posted 18/09/2023 11:27
The UK North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has announced the list of companies that have accepted licenses following the UK's inaugural carbon storage licensing round. Fourteen companies have been awarded 21 licenses, covering approximately 12,000 square kilometers of depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers. These sites have the potential to store up to 30 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030, equivalent to about 10% of the UK's annual emissions.
Shell, Perenco, and Eni have received licenses off the coast of Norfolk, where they could be part of the Bacton Energy Hub, a carbon storage, hydrogen, and offshore wind project aimed at providing low-carbon energy for London and the southeast.
The NSTA highlighted that as many as 100 storage licenses may be required to meet net-zero requirements. It also noted the industry's enthusiasm for further opportunities, which will inform the decision on when to conduct a second licensing round.
NSTA Chief Executive Stuart Payne emphasized the critical role of carbon storage in the energy transition, supporting hydrogen production and energy hubs.
Ruth Herbert, Chief Executive at the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), welcomed the licenses as a significant step toward achieving net-zero emissions. However, she stressed the need for a carbon capture deployment plan to fully exploit future CO2 storage capacity.
UK Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan underscored the importance of carbon capture in achieving net-zero targets and supporting job growth.
Industry body Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) expressed its support for the licensing announcement, emphasizing the potential for carbon capture and storage to reduce the UK's carbon footprint and stimulate economic growth.
The NSTA reported that greenhouse gas emissions from UK offshore oil and gas production had been reduced for the third consecutive year in 2022, contributing to a 23% drop between 2018 and 2022. However, more substantial measures are needed to reach the target of halving emissions by 2030, according to NSTA.