Irish Sea Marram gas project could form basis for regional energy hub

April 16, 2024
EnergyPathways has issued an update on its planned development of the 46-Bcf Marram gas field in the East Irish Sea offshore northwest England.

Offshore staff

WORTHING, UK — EnergyPathways has issued an update on its planned development of the 46-Bcf Marram gas field in the East Irish Sea offshore northwest England.

The company has applied to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) and the UK’s Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning for development plan approvals, and it has submitted a license variation request to the NSTA in the hope of fast tracking the Marram project.

Work has finished on the environmental statement, and Anatec is conducting a navigational risk assessment process.

Recently EnergyPathways initiated discussions with potential infrastructure hosts and has received third-party reports on infrastructure technical studies.

The technical team is progressing engineering and design for an all-electric, zero-emission subsea production system with Verlume, Advanced Mechatronics and Proserv, and it has also embarked on the next phase of the FEED for drilling and completions engineering with Zenith Energy.

The company’s existing partnership with Mermaid Subsea Services and MCS subsidiary Cortez Subsea is advancing development concept engineering for the planned tieback. Talks continue with suppliers on lead times for subsea controls, the electro-hydraulic umbilical, wellheads, the subsea flowline and other major items.

Various renewable energy generators, energy off-takers, debt financiers and engineering groups have also expressed interest in the company’s associated decarbonization project.

In parallel with Marram, the company is thinking longer term of an energy hub that would exploit the untapped gas resources, wind energy and geo-storage reservoirs of the UK Irish Sea.

EnergyPathways intends to use Marram to showcase its ability to deliver a development with an emissions intensity of 4-6 kg CO2e/boe, which it claims would provide a carbon footprint ~90% lower than LNG imports and capable of reducing CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons/year.

It aims to have Marram fully powered by renewable energy with the facilities engineered for energy storage reuse. Initial analysis suggest the field’s reservoirs could be suited to gas and hydrogen storage, so the company has submitted energy storage and production license requests to the regulator.

Assuming all the requested licenses are granted, Marram's storage capacity could potentially increase threefold through integration with the nearby offshore Knox, Lowry and Castletown gas discoveries (~140 Bcf), lifting the hub's energy supply potential to 60 MMcf/d.

The East Irish Sea region is close to one of the UK’s major grid constraint boundaries and is also near six existing offshore wind farms with 7-8 GW of existing and planned capacity, making it suitable for energy storage and backup gas power generation.

EnergyPathways believes the East Irish Sea is unique in its potential for short-cycle gas field developments, with “ideal” reservoirs and a location close to planned new carbon capture gas-fired power stations with nearby CO2 storage.

It claims the long-duration energy storage hub could store 7 TWh of energy. It could be connected to the nearby CO2 stores, the HyNet Northwest hydrogen hub and industrial demand centers to produce reliable "net-zero ready" gas power generation.