A deal has been struck that could pave the way for the capture and lockdown of emissions from the North Sea gas pipelines operated by ExxonMobil and Shell.
And work is underway to design a plan to capture the existing operational carbon emissions from both facilities.
Harbor Energy, Shell and Storegga, through its subsidiary Pale Blue Dot Energy, are partners in the Acorn project, also based in St Fergus.
Shell also jointly owns the SEGAL terminal, which is supplied by the UK North Sea SEGAL and Fulmar lines, alongside US supermajor ExxonMobil.
SEGAL also receives Buffer the link pipeline, which means the UK can import gas from Norway.
The FUKA facility was previously owned by French energy giant Total, now TotalEnergies, which decided to sell the asset to North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP) in 2015.
It is connected to the Frigg UK Pipeline, which carries gas from fields in the north of the North Sea to St Fergus.
With a third terminal in St Fergus, SEGAL and FUKA process 35% of the natural gas that feeds the national grid for UK homes, businesses and power generation.
ExxonMobil, Shell and NSMP are currently working on a formal agreement to become the first customers of the Acorn CCS project.
Emissions from the two power plants would be transported via existing oil and gas infrastructure and safely and permanently stored in rock formations under the North Sea.
Nick Cooper, Managing Director of Storegga, said: “This is really an important day for us. The signing of the MoU to begin this important work on St Fergus CO2 emissions represents a key milestone for the Acorn project and its ability to progress towards the UK’s net zero targets.
“These emissions are expected to be the first in a long series, as we plan to expand the project to store over 20 million tonnes per year of CO2 emissions from Scotland, the UK and potentially from Europe by the mid-2030s. ”
“Scotland’s contribution to CCS starts here”
The agreement with SEGAL and FUKA is part of broader efforts by project partners to determine how Acorn could help decarbonize sectors that will continue to depend on hydrocarbons.
It is hoped that a CCS facility in St Fergus will provide an essential service to other industries in Scotland, UK and Europe.
Emerging industry could also breathe new life into Peterhead, with the possibility of carbon emissions liquefied and transported by ship to the city’s deepwater port.
The MoU agreement builds on the recent landmark North Sea Transition Agreement, which paved the way for government and industry to advance the transition to a low-carbon energy system .
It is also an important indicator of British momentum towards this goal ahead of the November COP26 summit in Glasgow, Shell, Harbor Energy and Storegga said.
Phil Kirk, President and CEO Europe, Harbor Energy said: “We are delighted with the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding. The firm commitment of these first customers to decarbonise existing industry in the region is an important first step towards meeting the UK’s net zero commitments. Acorn’s scalability, location and critical infrastructure can help more industries and homes across Scotland and the UK go carbon-free. “
Acorn is one of the most advanced CCS projects in the UK and competes to be one of the first operational facilities.
He is on track for a final investment decision early next year, with the goal of starting around the middle of the decade.
The latest announcement comes at the end of a busy week for the project, which recently appointed UK-based company Carbon Clean to perform design and engineering services.
As part of its drive to offer an emissions reduction solution to industry across Scotland, it recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ineos, the owner of the Grangemouth facility.
Simon Roddy, UK Senior Vice President, Upstream, Shell said: “While St Fergus has played a historic role in providing energy to millions of UK homes and businesses, this protocol accord marks the first step in its transformation into a new dual role in the future. , bringing energy to land while safely eliminating greenhouse gases.
“Scotland’s contribution to CCS begins here, with emissions from our own operations at the terminal, and ultimately seeing St Fergus develop as part of a Scottish hub providing carbon storage for businesses across the Scotland, UK and Europe. “
Andy Heppel, CEO of North Sea Midstream Partners, said: “We are very pleased to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding with the Acorn Project as part of our support for the North Sea Transition Deal and our goal to play a role. at the forefront of the energy transition and the journey to Net Zero.
At the same time, ExxonMobil also joined the North East Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (NECCUS) industrial group.
The alliance, which includes leasing companies, government experts and academics, is working to reduce carbon emissions from industrial facilities in Scotland.
ExxonMobil said it would help NECCUS explore the potential of technology solutions to reduce emissions by building on the company’s extensive global experience with CCS.
The Texas-based supermajor has over 30 years of experience in carbon capture.
In addition to owning a stake in approximately one-fifth of the global CO2 CCS capacity, ExxonMobil accounts for approximately 40% of all bagged CO2 emissions worldwide.
Joe Blommaert, President of Low Carbon Solutions at ExxonMobil, said: “ExxonMobil has over 30 years of experience in CCS technology and is advancing plans for more than 20 new CCS opportunities around the world. We are delighted to support the Acorn Project in the deployment of CCS, one of the most important technologies required to achieve the company’s climate goals.
He added, “Our membership in NECCUS and our involvement with Acorn underscores our commitment to meeting the twin challenges of meeting global energy needs while reducing emissions from our operations.
“As a global leader in the development and use of carbon capture and storage, we will work with the alliance to identify how this technology can play a central role in reducing Scotland’s emissions.”
Mike Smith, CEO of NECCUS, said: “NECCUS welcomes ExxonMobil to our alliance. Decarbonizing industrial emissions will be a difficult but essential element in achieving the national 2045 net zero target.
“We believe Scotland is well positioned to provide technologies such as carbon and hydrogen capture and storage, which are necessary to achieve a net zero industrial cluster. Collaboration between organizations within NECCUS will be essential to this ambition, and ExxonMobil’s experience will enhance this collaboration. “
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