Eni UK has submitted a Carbon Storage License Application for the Hewett depleted gas field on the Southern North Sea, for the development of a CCS project aimed at decarbonising the Bacton and Thames Estuary area. 

The Hewett depleted gas field is a suitable site for permanent and safe carbon dioxide (CO2) storage, with a total capacity of about 330m tonnes, and could be operational from 2027.

The application was made through the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) system. It’s one of 19 companies to express interest in the licensing round and in all the 13 areas on offer, located off the coasts of Aberdeen, Teesside, Liverpool and Lincolnshire, have attracted 26 bids.

Eni UK believes it can leverage its extensive experience and subsurface knowledge of the Hewett depleted gas field, having operated safely the gas production in the area for over 40 years.

It has also set up of the Bacton Thames Net Zero initiative with the aim to decarbonise and to unlock new greener growth opportunities for the automotive, ceramics, food, materials, energy and waste disposal sectors in the UK South East, supporting materially the UK’s decarbonisation strategy. 

Eni UK will play a leading role in this industry-led initiative by transporting and storing CO2 in its Hewett depleted gas field.

Eni UK will provide further added value to this initiative by leveraging on the ongoing technical and commercial experience gained from Liverpool Bay CCS and the wider HyNet NW Cluster, as an existing CO2 appraisal and storage license holder.

The collaboration of industrial partners under the Bacton Thames Net Zero initiative could contribute significantly to the development of a hydrogen economy in the UK and become a game-changer in addressing the decarbonisation needs of UK’s South-East, while supporting the UK ‘Net Zero’ targets.

In February, Eni UK signed 19 MoUs with companies interested in capturing, transporting and storing their emissions in its depleted fields.

In the UK, Eni, through its subsidiary Eni Trading & Shipping SpA (ETS), markets the equity gas produced at Eni’s fields in the North Sea and operates in the main continental natural gas hubs (NBP, Zeebrugge, TTF).  In 2021, sales amounted to 2.65 bcm, up by 1.03 bcm or 63.6% compared to 2020.

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North Sea emissions down 14.2% since 2020

The North Sea oil and gas industry is on track to meet early emissions reduction targets after posting cuts of more than a fifth between 2018-21, according to a new Emissions Monitoring Report from the NSTA. 

The report shows greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were cut by an estimated 14.6% to 14.3m tonnes of CO2e last year, adding up to an overall reduction of 21.5% since 2018, and total GHG has declined 14.2% since 2020. 

Emissions are a by-product of extracting oil and gas, but industry is working hard to reduce them by investing in more energy-efficient equipment and technologies which minimise flaring.

Dr Andy Samuel, NSTA Chief Executive, said the industry has made progress on reducing emissions - particularing with flaring - during a turbulent period marked by a global pandemic and unprecedented price volatility. Gas consumption and flaring were down 15.3% and 16.8% respectively year-on-year.

He said, “Energy security is more sharply in focus than ever and the NSTA is working closely with industry and government to bring new oil and gas projects online and bolster UK energy supply.”