The Humber has the potential to become a 'world leading' centre for carbon capture, says Harbour Energy

The Humber has the potential to become a world leading centre for carbon capture and storage, the senior vice president for governmental and external affairs of Harbour Energy has said.

Addressing an audience at Foresight’s NetZero Live event in Hull, Harbour Energy’s Adam Newton said he believes that the Humber is poised not only to lead the UK in the innovative carbon reduction technology, but also the world.

Harbour Energy is leading the Humber’s Viking carbon capture and storage project, which aims to capture CO2 emissions from industrial processes and energy production around region and store them under the North Sea.

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The firm is targeting its first CO2 storage for 2027, with a reduction target of 10 million tonnes per year by 2030, and 15 million tonnes by 2035.

Foresight's NetZero Live event, held in Hull.Foresight's NetZero Live event, held in Hull.
Foresight's NetZero Live event, held in Hull.

It expects to account for a third of the UK Government’s carbon capture targets, and will be constructed in the UK’s most CO2 intensive region, the Humber.

A final investment decision on the project is expected next year.

Mr Newton said: “We believe the project will position the Humber to be at the heart of the net zero plan, and that if the right decisions are taken in the right time line, position it to be not just the UK’s centre for carbon capture and storage, but a global centre for carbon capture and storage.”

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“We’re really really excited about Viking carbon capture and storage, and everything it can deliver, because we believe very much in the Humber, in the consortium that we've got going, and in the power of carbon capture to reach the UK’s net zero ambitions.”

The project will repurpose much of the existing infrastructure originally used to supply gas to the region from the North Sea, and reverse it to store CO2 in the Viking gas fields.

The Humber is currently the UK’s most heavy polluting region for CO2 emissions.

“The investment up front in the project will deliver £7 billion across the full carbon capture and storage value chain between 2025 and 2035, and in addition to that, our own independent economic analysis shows another £4 billion in GDA across the humber and beyond,” Mr Newton added.

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“And all of that means safeguarding jobs and creating new opportunities as part of a just energy transition.

“That means protecting 20,000 jobs and ensuring high value industries remain here in the UK.

"More than 10,000 new jobs will be created during peak construction, and 4,000 permanent jobs when the project is up and operational.

“That also means we're able to support the development of low carbon projects, including hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels.”

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Harbour Energy is currently the UK’s largest independent producer of oil and gas, and the largest investor in UK North Sea oil and gas since 2019.

Mr Newton noted that Harbour Energy would ask the Government to look into transportation of CO2 for potential future projects, enabling Viking to store CO2 from across the country.

He said: “We’re also asking the Government to look carefully at CO2 transportation. It is our belief that the UK would benefit from the opportunity to ship emissions from standard assets in places like south wales, in places like the south coast, and even part of the Thames gateway.”