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    UK CCS owners allocate shares, agree development


A new partnership has been set up to take the St Fergus carbon capture and storage project through to development and operations.

by: William Powell

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UK CCS owners allocate shares, agree development

UK Storegga, Anglo-Dutch Shell and Harbour Energy became equal partners in the Acorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) project April 17 with the signing of the Acorn Development Agreement. They expect operations to start in the "mid-2020s" and injections rising to at least 5mn metric tons/yr of CO2 by the end of the decade.

As equal partners, Storegga, Shell and Harbour will develop Acorn through to final investment decision, construction, operation and beyond. The Acorn CCS and hydrogen projects could provide critically important CCS and hydrogen infrastructure, helping industries and homes across Scotland and the UK to decarbonise, the partners said.

French Total, which was one of the first industrial partners on Acorn, decided to step down from the project as part of its portfolio management strategy.

The project will take CO2 from natural gas delivered to the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland and from carbon intensive industries and imported CO2 from the rest of the UK and Europe into Peterhead Port. It will be piped offshore and reinjected into the North Sea. The government expects 10mn mt/yr of CO2 to be injected as part of its plan for a green Industrial Revolution. 

Storegga CEO Nick Cooper said: “Safely and securely managing and removing the emissions of industry and society is our core business. This agreement cements our relationship with our industry partners, Shell and Harbour Energy, and allows us to look forward with confidence to the next few years as we race to tackle climate change in a way that’s sustainable, cost efficient and deliverable.”

Shell said it hopes to have access to an additional 25mn mt/yr of CCS capacity by 2035. It has projects at the development stage in Norway, Australia and one already active in Canada that is already capturing 1mn mt/yr. "But to reach net zero the world needs much more CCS capacity. The Acorn project is an exciting vision for how we could help deliver that for Scotland and the UK,” it said.

Harbour Energy, which last month added Premier Oil to to its substantial North Sea upstream portfolio, said that CCS was "part of Harbour Energy’s commitment to a low carbon future and attaining our operational goal of Net Zero by 2035. We are delighted to continue working in partnership with Pale Blue Dot Energy and Shell on what is an important catalyst project for supporting decarbonisation of this region.”

Storegga's investors are Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Australian Macquarie and Japanese Mitsui. Pale Blue Dot Energy is its subsidiary developing Acorn.