The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has awarded a carbon dioxide (CO2) appraisal and storage licence (CS licence) to oil and gas company Harbour Energy, recently created via a merger between Premier Oil and Chrysaor.
The license will cover an area in the Southern North Sea off the coast of Immingham in North East Lincolnshire.
Harbour Energy plans to reuse the depleted Rotliegend gas fields, Viking and Victor, located around 40km from the Lincolnshire coast to store the CO2 in deep geological formations c.9000ft (2743 meters) below the seabed, and potentially utilize the Bunter Formation aquifer which could offer additional options to increase the future storage capacity of the project.
The V Net Zero development concept plans to transport CO2 along a newly-constructed pipeline from Immingham to Theddlethorpe, and will reuse the existing 120km LOGGS pipeline to transport the CO2 to the Viking Fields. First injection is targeted for Q4 2026.
Initial injection rates are planned to rise to 3.6 million tonnes per year (Mtpa) which will rise to 11 Mtpa by 2030, the Government’s 10 Point Plan ambition for CCUS (carbon capture, usage and storage) is to reach 10 Mtpa by 2030.
"An average car creates approximately 2.06 tonnes of CO2 a year; therefore 11 Mt CO2e per annum would amount to removing 5.3 million cars off the road. For context, in 2019 there were 31.9 million licensed cars in the UK," the OGA said.
The licence requires Harbour to show progress by hitting a number of milestones along the way, including reprocessing legacy 3D seismic data.
According to the OGA, the expectation is that the overall project – if it goes into operation – will show that carbon storage activity is ramping up in line with the expectations laid out in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point plan and the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget and that the UK energy transition to net zero is gathering momentum.
"It is important that industry meets its targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all operations and Harbour is expected to comply with the OGA Strategy, which makes net zero considerations a central obligation," the OGA said.
Phil Kirk, President and Chief Executive Officer (Europe), Harbour Energy, said: "The OGA’s decision to grant Harbour Energy a carbon storage licence is great news for the Humber and for the V Net Zero Humber Cluster. It is an essential milestone which comes at an exciting time for the project as we seek to remove more than 50% of existing industrial emissions in the Humber region."
"The V Net Zero Humber Cluster will create and support an average of 6,000 construction jobs between 2024 and 2030 and safeguard over 20,000 regional jobs.
“We look forward to the results of BEIS’s cluster sequencing competition and stand ready to deliver the entirety of Government’s carbon sequestration target by 2030 through the deployment of the V Net Zero Humber Cluster.”