Harbour Energy and BP to develop Viking CCS project in the UK

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BP has joined Harbour Energy as partner in the Viking carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the Humber region, the companies said on Tuesday. The announcement comes hot on the heels of the UK government announcing Track 2 of its cluster sequencing for CCS.

Under the terms of the agreement, Harbour will continue as operator of Viking CCS with a 60% share, with BP acquiring a 40% non-operated stake. Located close to the industrialised Humber region in the north-east of England, Viking CCS has the potential to meet one third of the UK government’s target to capture and store up to 30 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030, a joint statement said.

The project was outlined in a UK Government guidance on Track 2 Cluster Sequencing for Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) as one of the two projects that are “best placed” to deliver on the government’s objectives for Track 2, alongside Acorn CCS near Peterhead in Scotland.

Harbour Energy is also a partner in Acorn together with Storegga, Shell and North Sea Midstream Partners. The plan is to build infrastructure and facilities that will allow industry to capture, transport and store CO2 emissions from the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire.

Meanwhile, Harbour and BP already have interest in the Lincolnshire Offshore Gas Gathering System (LOGGS) pipeline which is intended to be repurposed as part of the Viking CCS project. This provides a low-cost opportunity to connect customers to the depleted Viking gas fields, according to the statement. The fields were recently independently verified to have 300 million tonnes of CO2 storage capacity.

Subject to the results of the government’s Track 2 Cluster Sequencing Process, a final investment decision (FID) on Viking CCS is expected to be taken in 2024. The project could be operational by 2027 and potentially store up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030. This could rise to 15 million tonnes a year by 2035, which would cover up to one-third of the UK’s CCS target.

Louise Kingham, senior vice president Europe and head of country UK for BP, said in a statement: “Our entry into Viking CCS demonstrates bp’s commitment to Backing Britain through substantial investment and helping the country achieve its net zero goals. Viking CCS could help create thousands of new local jobs and enable supply chains that support growth of CCS in the UK.”

The members of the Viking CCS Cluster are working to develop a full-chain CO2 capture, transport and storage network that could significantly decarbonise industry in the Humber, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire regions. This includes developing lower-carbon markets for electric vehicle manufacturing supply chains, sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and flexible and dispatchable power generation that can supplement variable weather-dependent renewables.

According to Harbour Energy, the project, which is part of the Humber Cluster alongside a range of Cluster members – including Associated British Ports, Phillips 66 Limited, RWE, VPI and West Burton Energy – will kickstart an estimated GBP 7 billion (USD 8.7 billion) of investment across the CCS value chain by 2035, and to deliver gross value add (GVA) of GBP 4 billion across the region.

Through the proposed development of infrastructure, from emissions capture to a pipeline network and a shipping import terminal, the cluster will support what the partners say are cost-efficient sequestration of CO2 emissions in Harbour Energy’s high-capacity CO2 storage sites in the southern North Sea. - JS

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