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    UK IOG teams up with university on North Sea CCS


The producer is active in the southern North Sea, an area rich in depleted fields and infrastucture.

by: William Powell

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UK IOG teams up with university on North Sea CCS

AIM-listed UK minnow IOG has teamed up with GeoNetZero Centre for Doctoral Training (GNZ) to research southern UK North Sea (SNS) carbon capture and storage (CCS) possibilities, it said May 14. GNZ is a part of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, which applies geoscience to achieving a net-zero economy.

Drawing on an extensive gas industry archive of seismic, well and core data, the key focus will be on proving which fields and aquifers across the Bacton catchment area are the most suitable carbon sinks, particularly where existing infrastructure could provide operational synergies, IOG said.

The research will cover the region of IOG's asset portfolio where a consistent flow of natural gas may be converted into blue hydrogen plus CO2.

IOG says the "infrastructure, knowledge and skills generated by over 50 years of the SNS gas industry can play a constructive role" in the transition to the net-zero economy. And extending the economic life of the southern basin "in a sustainable way is likely to involve long-term integration of the established gas industry with wind, hydrogen and CCS solutions." 

CEO Andrew Hockey said the collaboration demonstrates support for the UK's net zero commitment, the new upstream regulatory strategy and the recently announced North Sea Transition Deal. "Rigorous technical analysis of nearby CCS potential is a key element in validating the investment thesis for blue hydrogen. This will inform the roadmap towards a decarbonised energy hub at Bacton that could bring new economic opportunities and extend the life of existing infrastructure."

GNZ head, John Underhill, said IOG's decision to support research shows that industry "recognises the relevance and impact of our research at the GeoNetZero CDT and Heriot-Watt University to decarbonise the North Sea, deliver the UK's transition to net zero and maintain sustainable energy supplies."

The announced partnership comes hot on the heels of plans to develop Theddlethorpe, another beach terminal, into a blue hydrogen hub; and further consolidation of industrial emitters and a potential CCS operator at Scotland's St Fergus terminal.