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BP leads energy companies preparing two major UK carbon capture projects

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CARBON ENERGY

BP leads energy companies preparing two major UK carbon capture projects

17m tonnes of carbon dioxide to be stored beneath the North Sea every year. Source: the Guardian

After decades spent extracting fossil fuels from the UK’s North Sea, a consortium of oil companies is preparing to pump Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions back beneath the seabed to help meet the government’s climate ambitions.

BP has set out plans to lead an alliance of energy companies in siphoning off the carbon dioxide from factory flues under new plans in which almost half the UK’s industrial emissions will be stored beneath the North Sea from 2026.

The veteran North Sea oil extractor is leading a partnership including Italy’s state oil company Eni, Norway’s Equinor, National Grid, Royal Dutch Shell and French energy company Total in a plan to transport 17m tonnes of carbon dioxide every year from two separate carbon capture projects based in the Teesside and Humber industrial clusters on England’s east coast.Advertisement

At Teesside, BP will work with the same oil companies, in a separate venture, to capture up to 10m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from the industrial cluster – equivalent to the same emissions produced from the energy used by 3m UK homes – from the mid-2020s.

Meanwhile, at the Humber a separate alliance including National Grid, Equinor and power generator Drax hopes to capture at least 17m tonnes of CO2 from hundreds of refineries and factories.

The new alliance will operate the pipes and storage facility needed to transport the emissions from both industrial zones and dispose of almost 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions in saline aquifers beneath the North Sea seabed.

Andy Lane, BP’s head of carbon capture solutions, said the project represents a “significant milestone” towards developing the offshore infrastructure needed to safely store carbon, and the oil industry’s “willingness to come together and collaborate wherever possible” to contribute to the UK’s climate goals.

Carbon capture and storage is considered vital to the UK’s legally binding target to create a carbon neutral economy by 2050. It would also be “virtually impossible” for the world to meet its climate targets without it, according to the International Energy Agency.

There are still only 20 projects in commercial use worldwide but the IEA believes that in the last three years plans for more than 30 commercial carbon capture facilities have come forward, representing a potential investment of about $27bn (£20.7bn).

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