SULLOM Voe operator EnQuest has secured the offer of carbon storage licences – with the terminal set to be used to import liquid CO2 before it goes offshore.
The licences were given out in the first round of UK carbon sequestration licences issued by the North Sea Transition Authority (‘NSTA’).
Carbon capture and storage involves taking CO2 emissions from industrial processes, transporting it via a ship or pipeline and storing it underground offshore.
It is seen as a major component of the drive to net zero.
The successful licence offers are within application areas, known as Northern North Sea 1 and Northern North Sea 2, are some 99 miles northeast of Shetland and include fields currently operated by EnQuest – Magnus and Thistle – as well as the non-operated Tern and Eider fields.
These sites are large, well characterised deep storage formations connected by existing pipeline infrastructure to the Sullom Voe Terminal.
There are also proposals from EnQuest to produce hydrogen at Sullom Voe Terminal in the future.
EnQuest CFO Salman Malik said: “We are delighted to have successfully secured the offer of licences to develop our carbon storage business in the North Sea, utilising the Sullom Voe Terminal to import liquid CO2 from isolated emitter clusters in the UK, Europe and further afield.
“EnQuest has plans to develop a low-cost carbon megastore that will initially be capable of storing 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
“Our vision is that geological formations in this area will ultimately be capable of permanently storing more than one billion tonnes of CO2.
“With our comprehensive operational knowledge of the North Sea and our extensive infrastructure operations, EnQuest is uniquely placed to maximise the potential of these geological reservoirs as cost-effective and efficient carbon stores, servicing emitters from Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond.”
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EnQuest CEO, Amjad Bseisu added: “Our initiative presents a significant opportunity to transition oil and gas skillsets, leveraging EnQuest’s core capabilities and assets to deliver a just transition for the sector including new economic opportunities backed by education and skills training.
“As we build a low-carbon, sustainable economy essential for the well-being of future generations, EnQuest’s carbon storage proposition provides a vital service for areas where liquid CO2 is the solution, helping EnQuest achieve beyond net zero as a goal for its carbon footprint and helping the UK and Scotland achieve their national net zero targets.”
EnQuest said it has been working closely with SVT landlord Shetland Islands Council in developing its plans for carbon storage.
SIC chief executive Maggie Sandison said: “The successful offer of these licences gives a green light to Shetland’s ambition to make a major contribution to global decarbonisation, and kickstarts a new industry for Shetland offering new opportunities for our highly skilled workforce.”
The company said this would then free up space for new energy opportunities.
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