Partnership formed to accelerate the development of offshore ‎transport and storage infrastructure for carbon emissions in UK North Sea‎

Source: press release, 26 October 2020

illustration: bp
illustration: bp

bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total have confirmed they have formed ‎a new partnership, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide ‎‎(CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with bp as operator. This ‎infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) ‎projects that aim to establish decarbonised industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.‎

NZT and ZCH are at-scale decarbonisation projects that will kick start decarbonisation of industry and ‎power in two of the UK’s largest industrial clusters. Both projects aim to be commissioned by 2026 ‎with realistic pathways to achieve net zero as early as 2030 through a combination of carbon capture, ‎hydrogen and fuel-switching. If successful, NEP linked to NZT and ZCH will allow decarbonisation of ‎nearly 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions.‎

NEP has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK government’s Industrial ‎Decarbonisation Challenge, aiming to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to ‎transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the ‎UK North Sea.‎

The GBP 170 million Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge is part of the GBP 4.7 billion Industrial Strategy ‎Challenge Fund set up by the UK government to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges ‎using research and development based in the UK. NEP’s application for funding is an important step ‎towards enabling the development of integrated offshore carbon storage for NZT and ZCH in the UK ‎Southern North Sea.‎

The application follows the approval by the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) of the addition of bp and ‎Equinor alongside National Grid to the Endurance carbon storage licence. This affirms the strategic ‎importance of the Endurance reservoir as the most mature large-scale saline aquifer for CO2 storage ‎in the offshore UK Continental Shelf, that can enable industrial decarbonisation from both clusters. ‎

bp will lead the Northern Endurance Partnership as operator and the team progressing the project ‎will draw on expertise from across all the partners.‎

Andy Lane, vice president of CCUS solutions at bp and managing director for Net Zero Teesside, said: ‎‎”The formation of the Northern Endurance Partnership is another significant milestone towards ‎developing the offshore infrastructure that will be needed to safely transport and store CO2 from ‎CCUS projects along England’s east coast. The partnership and our joint bid demonstrate industry’s ‎willingness to come together and collaborate wherever possible to accelerate making CCUS a reality ‎in the UK, helping to decarbonise the local economy and contributing to the UK’s climate goals.”

Grete Tveit, senior vice president for low carbon solutions at Equinor, says, “Carbon capture and ‎storage is a crucial technology for reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and we are committed ‎to working with others to create real change. We believe that with our partners in the Humber, ‎Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership we can deliver deep decarbonisation of these ‎major UK industrial clusters using CCUS and hydrogen, safeguarding jobs and helping develop world-‎leading low carbon expertise that can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net zero by 2050.”‎

Martin Cook, senior vice president for business development for National Grid Ventures, says, “National Grid sits at the heart of the UK’s energy system and we want to contribute to the economic ‎recovery through investing in solutions to support a net zero future. The Northern Endurance ‎Partnership will channel the extensive experience of its members to develop and deliver the offshore ‎transport and storage infrastructure we need to unlock the enormous benefits of deploying CCUS ‎across the Humber and Teesside. We’re delighted to start working together with five really world ‎class energy companies to deliver a solution that will play a critical role in decarbonising the UK’s ‎largest industrial heartland and protecting tens of thousands of jobs in the process.”‎