Oil giants show faith in potential of UK carbon capture projects

27th October 2020 | Commercial Energy

Oil and gas majors have underlined their confidence in the feasibility of storing huge amounts of carbon dioxide beneath the North Sea to help secure big cuts in harmful emissions. Five of the biggest players in the industry have formed a partnership to lead work on a project that it is hoped could play a key role in the development of carbon capture, storage and usage (CCUS) technology in the UK.

The partnership plans to install the infrastructure that would be required to transport carbon dioxide that is a by-product of industries such as chemicals production for storage in the Endurance reservoir. Lead by BP, the members reckon Endurance is the most mature large-scale reservoir of its kind suitable for carbon dioxide storage on the offshore UK Continental Shelf. The partnership believes the reservoir would be capable of holding enough carbon dioxide to help support the decarbonisation of nearly 50 per cent of the UK’s industrial emissions.

It lies around 55 miles offshore and a mile below the seabed.

Carbon capture

The Northern Endurance Partnership has applied for UK Government funding to accelerate the development of a pipeline system that could be used to handle the emissions from two big industrial clusters in North East England. The pipelines will take carbon dioxide from industrial plants and hydrogen fuel-generating facilities on Humberside and Teesside to the Endurance reservoir. It is expected the pipeline would form part of a network that could help confirm that CCUS has a big part to play in support of the drive to achieve net zero.

Critics have noted that however compelling the theoretical appeal of CCUS may be the technology has not yet been deployed at scale in the UK. The Northern Endurance Partnership expects the schemes served by its pipelines will be operational in 2026.

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