UKCS can have substantial impact on UK’s net zero goal

Integrating offshore oil and gas, renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) could deliver around 30% of the UK’s net zero target, according to a report.

Published on 6 August, the Oil and Gas Authority’s (OGA) Energy Integration Project report further set out that offshore renewables – wind, wave and tidal – could contribute a further 30%. It means that the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), together with complementary investments in onshore energy infrastructure, has the potentially to support around 60% of the UK’s decarbonisation requirements. As well as this, close coordination of these technologies will ensure they become more economically attractive.

The report found blue hydrogen can decarbonise 30% of the UK’s natural gas supply by 2050, supporting approximately half of CCS expansions in the same timeframe, while green hydrogen can drive the expansion of offshore renewables in the 2030s and beyond, providing an efficient storage and energy transportation solution. It added that reducing the costs of the technology involved – electrolysis – is necessary to support faster uptake.

Other key findings included that oil and gas platform electrification is key to cutting sector production emissions in the near term – 20% equivalent to today’s production emissions, rising to 40% by 2030; re-use of oil and gas reservoirs can accelerate CCS; and oil and gas capabilities, infrastructure and supply chain are “crucial to energy integration” and can potentially support further offshore renewables expansion, including floating wind.