The UK’s Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) regulator has awarded a carbon dioxide appraisal and storage licence (CS licence) to Italian player Eni for a project that is expected to re-use and repurpose depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs in the East Irish Sea.
The licence will cover an area located within the Liverpool Bay area of the East Irish Sea.
Under the CS licence, Eni plans to re-use and repurpose depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs at the Hamilton, Hamilton North and Lennox fields, as well as the associated infrastructure to permanently store CO2 captured in north west England and northern Wales.
Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi said: “This is a vitally important project for Eni and represents a milestone for the 2050 net zero ambitions of the UK and a fundamental pillar for the strategy of energy transition and decarbonisation that Eni is strongly committed to,” Descalzi said.
The region already benefits from the HyNet project, currently in the first phase of development. The project is based on the production of hydrogen from natural gas. It includes the development of a new hydrogen pipeline and the creation of the UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure.
OGA chief executive Andy Samuel said: “The OGA is very pleased to award this licence for what we hope will be a highly successful project.”
“HyNet is an exciting example of energy integration in action – re-using existing infrastructure and depleted reservoirs for significant carbon storage, coupled with hydrogen generation for a variety of innovative uses.”
Eni has been awarded a CS Licence with a six-year appraisal term, allowing assessments and planning that may lead to a subsequent application to the OGA for a storage permit and the associated approvals required prior to any CO2 storage operations commencing.
The project, if successful, aims to be part of the collaborative effort with industrial companies to capture and transport CO2 from existing industries and future hydrogen production sites for fuel switching, heating, power and transportation in the context of UK targets for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.