Electrification of oil and gas operations in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) will play a vital role in efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Kallanish Energy reports.
Analysis from Rystad Energy has found that the UK will need to take “serious steps towards decarbonization” in the North Sea if it is to realize its “ambitious” climate goals. The UK currently produces the highest level of emissions in the region, reaching 13.1 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019, the consultancy said.
UK oil and gas production is set to remain significant in the coming decades, with output forecast at 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (Mmboe/d) by 2035. This is a 25% increase on the expected total production of 1.64 Mmboe/d this year.
As such, emissions from carbon-intensive gas turbines and diesel generators on offshore platforms are also forecast to increase unless measures such as infrastructure electrification and carbon capture and storage (CCS) are implemented.
Rystad highlighted the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) already utilizes platform electrification and CCS technology as methods of emissions reductions. There are currently eight oil and gas fields partly or fully electrified in Norway, and another eight fields with sanctioned electrification projects. Norway currently produces 8 kilos of CO2 per barrel of oil, compared to the UK’s 21 kilos of CO2.
“There is significant room for improvement when it comes to reducing carbon intensity on the UKCS. We already see that priorities are shifting toward greener solutions from both sides of the decision-making process, and many operators and investors are now including an additional carbon cost in their capital allocation decisions,” said Rystad Energy’s upstream analyst, Olga Savenkova.
Earlier this month, the UK government announced it is to review its offshore oil and gas licensing policy for future strategies in line with reducing emissions to meet its net zero target by 2050. The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority also opened discussions on methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the North Sea, including platform electrification. (See related articles)
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