Increased integration between offshore wind and other marine renewables and offshore oil and gas production can help deliver the UK’s net zero target through technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), said a study.
According to a new report from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), titled ‘UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) Energy Integration: Interim Findings’, innovative partnering between oil and gas, renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture can accelerate energy transition.
The report discusses the first phase of the UKCS Energy Integration project which is led by the OGA, working with BEIS, The Crown Estate and Ofgem, considering options to help feed into a new strategic vision of the UKCS as an integrated energy basin. The project is funded by a grant from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund.
The project considers how oil and gas infrastructure and capabilities can be leveraged for CCS, and to support renewable energy production and hydrogen generation, transportation and storage.
The report finds that multiple offshore integration concepts are technically feasible and would be viable options for helping to lower the oil and gas industry’s carbon footprint and decarbonizing the UK economy.
The report emphasizes that opportunities for UKCS deployment are plentiful, diverse and location-specific. Additionally, the UK has significant wind power potential, untapped carbon storage capacity, and extensive oil and gas infrastructure in place. All the concepts discussed in the report can reduce carbon dioxide emissions but differ in terms of scalability and timeline.
Offshore energy hubs can help scaling up net-zero energy solutions, e.g. by allowing hydrogen to be generated offshore using windfarms and stored in reservoirs to be transported to shore using oil and gas infrastructure, said the study. Multiple sites across the UK would be suited to energy hubs.
CCS has already been piloted offshore and is considered essential in all UK decarbonization scenarios, not just to decarbonise the power sector but also to enable deep cuts from other sectors, including industry. The storage potential across the UKCS and opportunity for oil and gas synergies is very significant.