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Northern Endurance Partnership to develop UK offshore CO2 infrastructure

In the UK oil, gas, and energy majors bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell, and Total have formed a new partnership, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with bp as the operator. This infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonised industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.

In the UK oil, gas, and energy majors bp, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell, and Total have formed the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with bp as the operator. This infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonised industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside (graphic courtesy bp).

Both Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) are at-scale decarbonization projects that will kick start decarbonization of industry and power in two of the UK’s largest industrial clusters.

Both projects aim to be commissioned by 2026 with realistic pathways to achieve net-zero as early as 2030 through a combination of carbon capture, hydrogen, and fuel-switching.

bp will lead the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) as operator and the team progressing the project will draw on expertise from across all the partners.

If successful, NEP linked to NZT and ZCH will allow decarbonization of nearly 50 percent of the UK’s industrial emissions.

The formation of the Northern Endurance Partnership is another significant milestone towards developing the offshore infrastructure that will be needed to safely transport and store CO2 from CCUS projects along England’s east coast. The partnership and our joint bid demonstrate industry’s willingness to come together and collaborate wherever possible to accelerate making CCUS a reality in the UK, helping to decarbonize the local economy and contributing to the UK’s climate goals, said Andy Lane, VP of CCUS solutions at bp and Managing Director for Net Zero Teesside.

Phase 2 bid submitted

NEP has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, aiming to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the UK North Sea.

The GBP170 million (≈EUR 189.9 million) Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge is part of the GBP4.7 billion (≈ EUR 5.25 billion) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund set up by the UK government to address the biggest industrial and societal challenges using research and development based in the UK.

NEP’s application for funding is an important step towards enabling the development of integrated offshore carbon storage for NZT and ZCH in the UK Southern North Sea, and follows the approval by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) of the addition of bp and Equinor alongside the National Grid to the Endurance carbon storage license.

Carbon capture and storage is a crucial technology for reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and we are committed to working with others to create real change. We believe that with our partners in the Humber, Teesside, and the Northern Endurance Partnership we can deliver deep decarbonization of these major UK industrial clusters using CCUS and hydrogen, safeguarding jobs and helping develop world-leading low carbon expertise that can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net-zero by 2050, said Grete Tveit, SVP for Low Carbon Solutions at Equinor.

This affirms the strategic importance of the Endurance reservoir as the most mature and large scale saline aquifer for CO2 storage in the offshore UK Continental Shelf, that can potentially enable industrial decarbonization from both clusters.

National Grid sits at the heart of the UK’s energy system and we want to contribute to the economic recovery through investing in solutions to support a net-zero future.  The Northern Endurance Partnership will channel the extensive experience of its members to develop and deliver the offshore transport and storage infrastructure we need to unlock the enormous benefits of deploying CCUS across the Humber and Teesside. We’re delighted to start working together with five really world-class energy companies to deliver a solution that will play a critical role in decarbonizing the UK’s largest industrial heartland and protecting tens of thousands of jobs in the process, Martin Cook, SVP for Business Development for National Grid Ventures.

About ZCH and NZT

The Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) partnership comprises twelve leading companies and organisations – Associated British Ports (ABP), British Steel, Centrica Storage Ltd, Drax Group, Equinor, Mitsubishi Power, National Grid Ventures, px Group, SSE Thermal, Saltend Cogeneration Co Ltd, Uniper, and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) – working together to create the world’s first net-zero industrial cluster by 2040 in the UK’s largest industrial cluster through low carbon hydrogen, carbon capture, and negative emissions, known as carbon removal technology. With its first project coming online as early as 2026, ZCH expects to capture up to 17 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year from projects across the Humber by the mid-2030s.

Net Zero Teesside (NZT) is a Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) project, based in Teesside in the North East of England. In partnership with local industry and with committed, world-class partners, it aims to fully decarbonize a cluster of carbon-intensive businesses by as early as 2030. Net Zero Teesside comprises a consortium of five Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) members – bp, Eni, Equinor, Shell, and Total, with bp leading as the operator. From the mid-2020s, the Project plans to capture up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

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