Industry and Governments back new Net Zero Solution Centre at OGTC

L-R Paul Wheelhouse, Colette Cohen and Kwasi Kwarteng
L-R Paul Wheelhouse, Colette Cohen and Kwasi Kwarteng

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The Oil & Gas Technology Centre is to create, in partnership with industry, a new Net Zero Solution Centre to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to decarbonise offshore operations and develop the UKCS as the first net zero oil and gas basin globally, supporting the industry’s Roadmap 2035.

The new centre has the backing of major companies including BP, Shell, Wood, Chrysaor, Aker Solutions, INEOS, CNOOC International, Total, Siemens and Equinor, who recognise the critical contribution the oil and gas industry can make to the net zero economy, while continuing to meet demand from UK homes and businesses. 

Earlier this year, the UK and Scottish Governments set binding net zero carbon targets, for 2050 and 2045 respectively. This followed the publication of a comprehensive report by the Committee on Climate Change, which identified growing demand for oil and gas and the need for immediate action to address growing emissions while balancing the needs of the UK economy.

The Net Zero Solution Centre will work with government and industry to address the UK offshore oil and gas industry’s emission footprint, while also developing technologies that will contribute to the growing demand for hydrogen production and carbon sequestration. This evolution of the industry, repurposing of facilities and partnering with companion industries such as renewables, will create a new future for the UKCS, while also supporting the creation of net zero carbon economy. 

To transform the UKCS into a net zero oil and gas basin, the Centre will champion the creation of an integrated offshore energy system, partnering with companies to accelerate the development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage, hydrogen capability and other net zero technologies. 

The Centre has developed a roadmap and will work with a range of academia institutions and industry sectors to identify shared challenges and lead cross-sector collaboration on technologies to help accelerate carbon reduction and create export opportunities for the UK supply chain. 

Launching the Net Zero Solution Centre at Offshore Europe 2019, Colette Cohen, CEO of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre 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 UK Continental Shelf 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.

“We’re delighted to be working with a strong group of companies and look forward to adding new strategic partners to the Net Zero Solution Centre over the coming months.” 

Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said:

 “We welcome the Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s plans and look forward to working with them to establish a new Net Zero Solution Centre. The Centre supports the sector’s ambition to become the first net zero hydrocarbon basin in the world, a key element of a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition.”

UK Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:

“The UK’s oil and gas sector has a pivotal role to play in the UK’s journey towards becoming a net-zero economy by 2050. Support from companies within the industry is vital to us making this energy transition to a greener future.

“The UK Government warmly welcomes this initiative to find innovative technological solutions to decarbonising the offshore production of gas and oil from the North Sea and wider UK Continental Shelf.”

Cllr Jim Gifford, leader of Aberdeenshire Council and chair of the City Region Deal Joint Committee said: 

“When this ‘net zero’ ambition was discussed at our committee just last week, every member around the table, from the public and private sector, shared the enthusiasm for the importance of this solutions centre. There is a real gear-change evident across the sector at the moment, with companies large and small pushing their climate transition ambitions up a level. 

“The City Region Deal partners are working on what we can do, individually and together to further our own energy transition ambitions and this announcement feels like a real milestone towards that.”

Councillor Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council and Vice-Chair of the Aberdeen CRD Joint Committee, said: 

“Today’s announcement is an important step on our City Region Deal journey, with partners working together towards goals that are not only of regional significance but of global importance.

“Innovation is a central theme running through the core of the CRD projects and this is another example of Aberdeen demonstrating its pioneering approach, embracing opportunities to evolve by harnessing the expertise and knowledge that has been the bedrock of our success to date.

“The Net Zero Solution Centre will be a game changing development. Aberdeen City Council’s environmental responsibilities are of paramount importance and we are committed to continuing to play a leading role in addressing climate change. We have statutory responsibilities in that respect, but our commitment goes far beyond that and we are proud to be supporting this project.”

Sir Ian Wood KT, GBE, Chairman of Opportunity North East said: 

“I believe the North East of Scotland is on its way to becoming a global energy capital, applying our significant oil and gas capabilities and innovative technologies to reduce carbon emissions. We have the skills, knowledge and strong track record to convert the challenge of climate change into an opportunity, creating new technical solutions in the UK and globally. 

“The Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s new Net Zero Solution Centre can make a significant contribution, partnering with industry to help deliver low carbon solutions and support the creation of a net zero carbon economy.” 

Andy Samuel, Chief Executive of the Oil and Gas Authority said:

“The OGA warmly welcomes this important step forward. We believe the oil and gas industry, with its long history of engineering excellence, infrastructure, subsurface expertise and world-class supply chain, should play a leading role in the drive to Net Zero. 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.” 

The Net Zero Solution Centre will be officially launched at 1245 on Tuesday 3 September at Offshore Europe 2019 during a leadership panel discussion on the OGTC stand. Colette Cohen will be joined by Sian Lloyd-Rees, Head of UK and SVP Europe & Africa at Aker, Ariel Flores, Regional President of BP North Sea, Phil Kirk, CEO of Chrysaor and Geir Tuft, CEO of Ineos Oil & Gas. 

The project programme for the Net Zero Solution Centre is now being developed with our industry partners and recruitment is ongoing for a Manager to lead the new centre. The first few projects are likely to be announced by the end of 2019, alongside a high-level plan for 2020. 

Companies, technology developers and partners interested in working with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre on these exciting new programmes should contact: Luca Corradi, Innovation Network Director at luca.corradi@theogtc.com 

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