Oil & Gas Technology Centre to make UKCS world’s first net zero basin

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) will partner energy industry heavyweights in a bid to create a world-leading centre for decarbonising offshore operations, it has announced today.

Colette Cohen, chief executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said the focus is to become the first net zero hydrocarbon basin in the world. Picture: Contributed

The Aberdeen organisation is to launch the Net Zero Solution Centre to accelerate the development and deployment of decarbonising technologies in the offshore sector and position the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) as the world’s first net zero oil and gas basin.

With the backing of major industry players including BP, Shell, Wood, Chrysaor, Aker Solutions, Ineos, CNOOC, Total, Siemens and Equinor, the initiative aims to address the oil and gas industry’s carbon emissions footprint in line with government targets.

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Earlier this year the UK and Scottish governments set binding targets of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 2045 respectively.

The new hub will also look to develop technologies that can help meet rising demand for hydrogen production and carbon sequestration, with the overarching aim of creating export opportunities for the UK supply chain.

It will partner companion industries such as renewables as well as collaborating with a range of academic institutions and government.

The OGTC will officially launch the centre today at Offshore Europe 2019, the North Sea’s official exploration and production exhibition and conference, which is expected to host more than 36,000 attendees.

OGTC chief executive Colette Cohen said: “The UK offshore oil and gas industry is a dynamic system of infrastructure, supply chains, expert workforce, research activity and technology development and deployment. This diverse industrial ecosystem must play a fundamental role in the creation of a net zero carbon economy.

“With the backing of industry and government, and strong track of delivery, the OGTC is committed to moving the dial on carbon reduction and enabling the UKCS to become the first net zero hydrocarbon basin in the world.

“Our focus will be on developing technologies to reduce operational carbon emissions, working with other parts of the energy sector to create integrated solutions and repurposing infrastructure to accelerate carbon capture usage and storage, hydrogen production and gas-to-wire capacity.”

Scottish energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said evolving the UKCS into a net zero basin is “a key element of a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition”.

Andy Samuel, chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority, added: “We’re excited by the opportunities to use technology to enable carbon capture and storage, offshore energy integration and hydrogen production, while we maximise economic recovery from the UKCS to meet continuing energy demands and reduce reliance on hydrocarbon imports.”