Eni and Shell are among the winners in the awarding of 21 UK North Sea carbon capture and storage (CCS) licences announced on Friday.

Fourteen companies were awarded licences in depleted oil and gas reservoirs and saline aquifers covering about 12,000 square kilometres, in what the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) billed as the country’s “first-ever carbon licensing round”.

The reservoirs could sequester up to 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum by 2030, or about 10% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions in 2021, the agency said.