The UK government announced an investment of £20 billion for the development of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) projects in Scotland and the Humber. It is expected to capture approximately over 10 million tons of CO2 annually.
In order to reach net zero, the UK government is aiming to ensure 20 million to 30 million tons of CO2 is captured each year by 2030.
These two CCUS projects is developed by a joint venture between carbon reduction company Storegga, Shell UK, Harbour Energy and North Sea Midstream Partners.
The Acorn Carbon Capture Scheme, which based at St Fergus in Scotland, is a CCS project that reuses legacy oil and gas infrastructure to transport captured industrial emissions from the Scottish Cluster to permanent storage 1.5 miles under the North Sea.
It aims to reduce the amount of carbon, mainly CO2, sent into the atmosphere. The project is expected to capture approximately 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
According to Harbour Energy, its scheme in the Humber could capture up to 10 million tons a year by 2030 and it is able to store around 300 million tons in the “depleted Viking gas fields”.
The company said the front end engineering and design phase of both CCUS projects can now start.
Linda Cook, CEO of Harbour Energy, said: "The announcement is an important step forward for Harbour's Viking and Acorn CCUS projects and the development of the carbon capture and storage industry in the UK.
She continued, "It is also a further demonstration of the key role that the oil and gas sector is playing by using our existing infrastructure, skills and experience to build this new industry and help deliver the energy transition.
"Viking has the potential to be transformational for the Humber, the UK's most carbon intensive industrial region, creating thousands of jobs in the area and playing a vital role in supporting the UK to meet its target to capture 30 million tons of CO2 annually by 2030."
Will Gardiner, Drax Group chief executive, noted, “The announcement shows the importance of CCUS to the Humber and, along with the East Coast Cluster, creates an additional pathway to support our plans for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage at Drax Power Station.
“We are currently engaged in productive discussions with the UK Government on this project and hope to invest billions in its development and deploy this critical, carbon removals technology by 2030.”
Drax Group, which is aiming to reach carbon negative by 2030, emitted 669 kilotons of ktCO2e by generating power last year.
Besides CCUS projects in Scotland, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said that more companies will be granted licenses to extract oil and gas by the North Sea Transition Authority.
Sunak said it was “absolutely the right thing to do”, despite criticism from environmentalist who claim the government should be working to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Even when we reach net zero in 2050 a quarter of our energy needs will still come from oil and gas, and domestic gas production has about a quarter of or a third of the carbon footprint of imported gas.” he said.