Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) is joining forces with Heriot-Watt University to study the potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in its southern North Sea licence areas.
London-listed IOG said extending the economic life of the SNS in a sustainable way was likely to involve long-term integration of the established gas industry with wind, hydrogen and CCS solutions.
A blue hydrogen-CCS cluster in the Bacton area will require consistent gas supply as well as steam reformation facilities and secure offshore carbon storage sites, IOG said, which is developing several SNS gas fields.
Alongside GeoNetZero CDT, Heriot-Watt’s Centre for Doctoral Training, IOG will focus on the storage element, filling the gap in the geological analysis of the factors that maintain seal integrity at subsurface sites.
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.
Andrew Hockey, chief executive of IOG, said: “We are very pleased to support GeoNetZero CDT’s valuable research into carbon storage across our operating area. This collaboration demonstrates our support for the UK’s Net Zero commitment, the new OGA Strategy and the recently announced North Sea Transition Deal.
“IOG is committed to Bacton and its catchment area, where we have established a long-term strategic position to underpin our growth into a safe and sustainable UK gas producer. The area benefits from substantial remaining gas resources, extensive transportation and processing infrastructure and proximity to major markets.
“In that context, 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.”
Professor John Underhill, Head of GeoNetZero CDT, said: “I am delighted that IOG has elected to support research that will identify, examine and test carbon storage sites and other low-carbon renewable options in the southern North Sea.
“This support 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.”