LONDON – Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) is assessing the potential benefits of a new energy hub located on the UK’s Norfolk coast.
It has hired Progressive Energy to conduct a feasibility study.
The OGA has identified Bacton, where five terminals receive gas from numerous fields in the UK southern North Sea, as a key priority area.
As an energy hub, Bacton could support the UK offshore sector deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and at the same time help maximize economic recovery from the UK’s remaining offshore hydrocarbons resources.
Bacton is in an area with strong wind power growth and the potential to produce hydrocarbons into the 2040s. The study will consider whether it is a suitable location for using existing gas reserves as a transition fuel to produce blue hydrogen, with progression to green hydrogen generation.
Progressive Energy will evaluate various existing ideas developed by the oil and gas and renewables sectors to determine whether an energy hub at Bacton is viable, and will draw up options that a potential industry consortium might explore.
Its analysis will take in potential hydrogen supply and demand in the area; integration opportunities for hydrogen and hydrocarbons; and the role hydrogen can plan in smoothing the energy demand peaks and troughs associated with current and future wind farms in and around Bacton.
In addition, it will review the technology required for both blue and green hydrogen production, and assess the volumes of hydrocarbons that will be required for conventional uses during the transition, and then for blue hydrogen.
On completion of the report, the OGA will decide on the next stage of the project, under which different energy sectors would collaborate on an energy plan for the region.