Energy giants launch Northern Endurance Partnership to explore carbon capture opportunities

A group of businesses including BP, Shell and the National Grid have formed the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), which is aiming to develop carbon transportation and storage infrastructure in the North Sea to assist with plans to decarbonise the UK's industrial clusters.

NEP transportation and storage infrastructure linked to both sites could enable almost 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions to be decarbonised

NEP transportation and storage infrastructure linked to both sites could enable almost 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions to be decarbonised

BP Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total will act as founding members of the NEP, which has submitted a bid for funding through the UK Government’s £170 million Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, which aims to scale up technologies such as carbon capture and hydrogen networks. These technologies will help decarbonise industrial clusters located in Grangemouth, Merseyside, Teesside, Humberside, South Wales and Southampton.

The NEP will focus on the Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects, with BP as the operator. BP, Eni, Equinor, Shell and Total have all signed up to spearhead the development of NZT. The oil giants have signed on to the development of the cluster through the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative’s (OGCI) $1bn Climate Investments fund. For ZCH, a group of 12 companies including British Steel, Drax, Uniper and Centrica Storage is overseeing the project, and recently funnelled £75m into the initiative.

Both projects have been issued at the request of the Government, which is aiming to create the world's first zero-carbon industrial cluster across the aforementioned site locations.

Both NZT and ZCH are aiming to be commissioned by 2026, with pathways to reaching net-zero as early as 2030. The sites would utilise carbon capture, fuel-switching and hydrogen. The organisations involved in the project anticipate that the NEP transportation and storage infrastructure linked to both sites would enable almost 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions to be decarbonised.

BP’s vice president of CCUS solutions and managing director for NZT Andy Land said: “The formation of the Northern Endurance Partnership is another significant milestone towards developing the offshore infrastructure that will be needed to safely transport and store CO2 from CCUS projects along England’s east coast.

“The partnership and our joint bid demonstrate industry’s willingness to come together and collaborate wherever possible to accelerate making CCUS a reality in the UK, helping to decarbonise the local economy and contributing to the UK’s climate goals.”

As for ZCH, the project could reduce the UK’s annual emissions by 15% and save industries around £27.5bn in carbon taxes by 2040.

The application for funding comes as the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has approved both BP and Equinor alongside the National Grid to hold licenses for carbon storage.

Equinor’s senior vice president for low carbon solutions Grete Tveit said: “Carbon capture and storage is a crucial technology for reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and we are committed to working with others to create real change. We believe that with our partners in the Humber, Teesside and the Northern Endurance Partnership we can deliver deep decarbonisation of these major UK industrial clusters using CCUS and hydrogen, safeguarding jobs and helping develop world-leading low carbon expertise that can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net-zero by 2050.”

Matt Mace



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