LONDON — The UK’s offshore supply chain companies could support carbon capture and storage (CCS) developments across the UK Continental Shelf, according to a report commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) produced the report via the North Sea Transition Deal. It found that offshore oil and gas supply chain companies already have some capabilities in relevant CCS areas such as plant design and engineering, plant fabrication and construction.
Under the government’s Net Zero Strategy, the UK will need to capture 50 MM metric tons/year of CO2 emissions.
Most of the components necessary for a successful CCS sector are said to be already in place, including a large potential market for exports of technology and expertise; large industrial clusters; extensive gas transport infrastructure; and good scientific understanding of geological requirements for long-term CO2 storage.
For the offshore oil and gas supply chain, CCS could provide £20 billion of opportunities in the next 10 years and £100 billion by 2050.
The UK’s estimated overall storage capacity is said to be 78 gigatons, one of the largest in Europe and enough to hold 200 years of the UK’s emitted carbons (at current rates).
To support the industry’s development, the government should speed up Track 2 clusters for support and introduce additional licensing rounds for storage sites, the report recommended.
It warned that although the local supply chain has suitable experience, it could decide to focus on more attractive opportunities elsewhere in the world if it does not secure a first-mover advantage for the UK schemes.
Securing this work in the UK would particularly benefit industries in Aberdeen, Inverness, Liverpool, North Wales, East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Teesside, where the established offshore energy industry is well placed to expand into new sectors, including CCS.