The 'One North Sea' report highlights how the North Sea and its existing oil and gas infrastructure offer an ideal basis for developing a Net Zero Emission basin.
It recommends a range of potential opportunities in which collaboration between the oil and gas and renewable sector can accelerate the energy transition including:
- Electrification of ongoing oil and gas production to reduce emissions (CO2, CH4, NOx).
- CO2 transport through existing repurposed gas pipelines and/or storage of CO2 in depleted gas reservoirs.
- Production of hydrogen on or around existing gas assets and transport of hydrogen through repurposed gas pipelines (including blending of hydrogen in the existing natural gas stream).
Cross-border collaboration, alignment and joint planning in the North Sea region is fundamental for a successful energy transition. The report's publication coincides with the launch of the www.onenorthsea.com database. The publicly available database maps out close to 90 integration projects already underway in the Netherlands, UK and Norway that demonstrate a component of re-use of existing infrastructure.
Luca Corradi, innovation network director at the Net Zero Technology Centre, said: “Creating an integrated offshore energy system is essential to deliver net zero targets. To achieve this goal, we need to have closer international collaboration. This report, and its resulting database, provides an early blueprint of exactly how we can drive closer working relationships across the energy sector.
“The North Sea energy system does not stop at borders. International collaboration on oil, gas, and renewables can bring forth synergies and opportunities to share experiences and knowledge that will accelerate the energy transition to net zero.
“With an increasingly complex energy landscape and vast potential for the deployment of low-carbon energy, the North Sea can play a fundamental role in accelerating Europe’s energy transition, developing skills for the future and creating new jobs.”
René Peters, business director gas technology at TNO, said: “We are just at the start of our transition path from oil and gas to renewable energy production at the North Sea. The North Sea will remain a major source of low carbon energy for Northwest Europe and of key importance to enable a net zero energy system. CO2 storage, Power to Gas and platform electrification will be key enablers to develop zero emission energy production from the North Sea, and facilitate the development of blue and green hydrogen.
"A closer collaboration between North Sea countries is required to grasp the opportunities of system integration. In addition, the database of One North Sea provides a great overview of initiatives to maximise the benefits from collaboration and integration in the North Sea.’’
The project aims to kick-start the development of a Europe-wide database, providing a hub to collaborate and skill-share to help reach net zero energy faster.