North Sea Transition Authority Announces Companies Accepting CO2 Storage Licenses
Posted 15/09/2023 11:42
The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has confirmed the list of companies that have accepted licenses as part of the UK's inaugural carbon storage licensing round. A total of 14 companies have been awarded 21 carbon storage licenses, following the initial results announced in May, which saw one new license and two additional firms included.
This first-of-its-kind round, launched in 2022, received bids from 19 companies for 26 total bids. Thirteen areas off the coasts of Aberdeen, Teesside, Liverpool, Lincolnshire, and various North Sea regions were offered as part of this process, covering over 4,600 square miles of offshore acreage. These depleted reservoirs could potentially store up to 30 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030, equivalent to approximately 10% of the UK's annual emissions, which stood at 342 million tonnes in 2021.
The complete list of companies and awarded licenses is as follows:
- ENI - SNS Area 4 Hewett Area
- Perenco & Carbon Catalyst - SNS Area 4 Leman Area
- Spirit Energy - EIS Area 1 Morecambe Area
- Pale Blue Dot, Shell, Chrysaor - CNS Area 2 Acorn East
- Pale Blue Dot, Shell, Chrysaor - CNS Area 1 East Mey
- Enquest CCS - NNS Area 1 Magnus sub-area
- Enquest CCS - NNS Area 1 Thistle sub-area
- Enquest CCS - NNS Area 2 Tern sub-area
- Enquest CCS - NNS Area 2 Eider sub-area
- Perenco UK & Carbon Catalyst - SNS Area6B Amethyst
- Perenco UK & Carbon Catalyst - SNS Area 6A West Sole
- Synergia Energy CCS & Wintershall Dea - SNS Area 4 Camelot Area
- Neptune Energy - SNS Area 1 BC05 sub-area
- Neptune Energy & Esso - SNS Area 5 Bunter BC13
- Neptune Energy - SNS Area 7 Caister Bunter
- Chrysaor & BP - SNS Area 4 Vulcan area
- Chrysaor & BP - SNA Area 8 Audrey
- BP & Equinor - SNS Area 1 BC42 sub-area
- Shell & Esso - SNS Area 2 Sean Fields
- Shell & Esso - SNS Area 2 Indefatigable field
- Shell & Esso - SNS Area 3
Storegga Shell and Harbour Energy, backers of the Acorn project in the north-east, accepted awards for the Acorn East and East Mey CO2 storage sites, allowing for the storage of up to 240 million tonnes of CO2. Additionally, Shell, Perenco, and ENI were awarded licenses off the coast of Norfolk, potentially forming part of the Bacton Energy Hub, a project combining carbon storage, hydrogen, and offshore wind.
The NSTA believes that up to 100 storage licenses may be necessary to meet net-zero goals. The strong response and the quality of opportunities in the first round have demonstrated the industry's appetite for additional opportunities. The NSTA plans to assess further locations across the UK before deciding when to conduct a second licensing round.
NSTA Chief Executive Stuart Payne stated, "It is exciting to award these licenses, and our teams will support the licensees to bring about the first injection of carbon dioxide as soon as possible. We will also continue to work with industry and government to enable further licensing activity and back the UK's drive to net-zero emissions."
Ruth Herbert, CEO of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, called these licenses a "substantial milestone" toward widespread CCS deployment, with the potential to store almost 10% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.
Offshore Energies UK Sustainability and Policy Director Mike Tholen emphasized the need for ongoing government support and long-term, competitive energy policies to attract investment and innovation necessary for building such solutions in the UK.
This development marks a significant step in the UK's carbon capture and storage efforts, contributing to the country's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.