Big six unveil CCUS plan in North Sea
Leading suppliers bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total have teamed up to form the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) to develop offshore Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) infrastructure in the North Sea.
With bp as operator, the infrastructure - which could cut UK industrial emissions in half and store millions of tonnes of CO2 - will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonized industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.
In a statement, bp said the projects will "kick-start decarbonization of the industry" in two of the UK’s largest industrial clusters. Both aim to start up in 2026, with realistic pathways to achieve net zero as early as 2030 through a combination of carbon capture, hydrogen and fuel switching.
The NEP, which aims 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, has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK Government’s £170 million Industrial Decarbonization Challenge.
The Humber is the most carbon-intensive industrial cluster in the UK, emitting 12.4 million tonnes a year, while Teesside industries account for 5.6% of the country’s emissions. The region is also home to five of the UK’s top 25 CO2 emitters.
This is part of the £4.7 billion Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund set up by the government to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges using UK-based research and development.
The application follows the approval by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) of the addition of bp and Equinor alongside National Grid to the CO2 appraisal and storage licence covering the Endurance reservoir.
This affirms the strategic importance of the Endurance reservoir (located about 145km off the coast from Teesside and around 85km from the Humber coast) as the most mature and large-scale saline aquifer for CO2 storage in the offshore UK Continental Shelf, that can potentially enable industrial decarbonization from both clusters.
Andy Lane, vice president of CCUS solutions at bp and managing director for Net Zero Teesside, said: “The formation of the NEP 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 decarbonize the local economy and contributing to the UK’s climate goals.”
The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) awarded a carbon dioxide (CO2) appraisal and storage licence (CS licence) to Eni UK Limited (Eni) earlier this month, covering an area within the Liverpool Bay area of the East Irish Sea.
Under the CS licence, Eni plans to reuse and repurpose depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs (the Hamilton, Hamilton North and Lennox fields) and associated infrastructure to permanently store CO2 captured in the region.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.