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Europe Energy Review

Europe Energy Review


New oil and gas projects and discoveries offshore Norway, the UK’s progress toward net zero, and a number of clean energy projects across Britain and Europe were the highlights in the European energy sector in the past month.  

Oil & Gas

OKEA ASA and its partners announced the final investment decision (FID) for the Brasse development of the field in the northern North Sea, 13 kilometres south of the Brage field. Brasse is estimated to contain 24 million barrels of oil equivalent gross in recoverable reserves and will be developed as a tie-back to the Brage field, OKEA said.

The development plan for Brasse consists of a two-well subsea tie-back to the Brage platform, which will serve as the host facility for production, processing, and export. Use of standard solutions, well-proven technology, and close cooperation with strategic partners will ensure an efficient and cost-effective development, according to the company.

OKEA has also won the consent of the Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority, Havtil,to extend the lifetime of the Draugen field and facility in the southern part of the Norwegian Sea, which began production in 1993. The consent for Draugen facilities was previously valid until 9 March 2024, but this has now been extended to 31 December 2040.

Harbour Energy and its partners have confirmed a gas discovery in well 15/9-25 in the North Sea, the Norwegian Offshore Directorate said. 15/9-25 is the first well in production licence 1138, which was awarded in Awards in Pre-defined Areas (APA) in 2021.

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has given Equinor consent to use Kristin Sør phase 1, a field in the Norwegian Sea, a few kilometres southwest of the Åsgard field. The consent applies to the use of seabed installations, pipelines, control cables and associated modifications on the Kristin facility. The field is developed with four subsea templates and 12 production wells tied-back to a semi-submersible facility for processing. Production started in 2005.

DNO ASA announced completion of an appraisal well and sidetrack that further delineated the 2023 Heisenberg oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian part of the North Sea. Heisenberg, a new shallow play in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea, is now estimated to hold recoverable volumes in the range of 24 to 56 million barrels of oil equivalent, while oil-bearing sands were encountered in a deeper secondary target, Hummer.  

Equinor, on behalf of the partners, is exercising two options to extend contracts with Archer, KCA Deutag Drilling Norway, and Odfjell Operations for a total of four years.

The Norwegian major is also reducing emissions at the Sleipner field centre, the Gudrun platform, and other associated fields as they are now partly operating on power from shore. This will reduce annual emissions from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) by 160,000 tonnes of CO2. All installations on the Utsira High are now receiving power from shore, saving emissions amounting to about 1.2 million tonnes of CO₂ per year, Equinor says.

TotalEnergies announced at the end of March the restart of production from the Tyra hub in the Danish North Sea, after the completion of a major redevelopment project of the hub.

Low-Carbon Energy

The UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has published two sets of guidance which will help the developing carbon storage industry prepare for first injection. The new guidance will help industry manage storage sites and boost job creation, the authority said.   

Wind power generated a record share, 28.7 percent, of UK electricity in 2023, while the share of generation from fossil fuels fell to a record low, a share of 36.3 percent, the latest government data showed. However, power generation from gas remained the principal form of UK generation at 34.3 percent. Low carbon generation with renewables and nuclear combined increased to a record high share of 61.5 percent.

Scotland’s 2030 climate goals are no longer credible, due to continued delays to the updated climate change plan and further slippage in promised climate policies, the Climate Change Committee said at the end of March. The Scottish Government is unlikely to meet its statutory 2030 goal to reduce emissions by 75 percent and there is no comprehensive strategy for Scotland to decarbonise towards Net Zero, the Committee said.

“Scotland has laudable ambitions to decarbonise, but it isn’t enough to set a target; the Government must act. There are risks in all reviewed areas, including those with significant policy powers devolved to the Scottish Government,” said Professor Piers Forster, interim Chair of the Climate Change Committee.

The Electricity System Operator (ESO) has published a report, ‘Beyond 2030’, which proposes a £58 billion investment in the electricity grid to meet the growing and decarbonising demand for electricity in Great Britain by 2035.

The plan would connect additional 21 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind development off the coast of Scotland to the grid in an efficient and coordinated way, and this investment will allow Britain to exploit the economic potential as a leader in offshore wind by moving the power to where it is needed, ESO said.

In response to the proposed investment, RenewableUK’s Director of Future Electricity Systems Barnaby Wharton said,

“This investment in new networks is absolutely vital, to slash bills, make our economy more competitive and boost Britain’s energy security.”

Two UK ports, Port Talbot in Wales and the Port of Cromarty Firth in Scotland, are advancing for further consideration by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero for funding to support floating wind projects.

Another port, Port of Aberdeen, is a step closer to becoming a strategic hub for floating offshore wind, with its proposed South Harbour upgrade project progressing to Stage 2 ‘priority’ status in the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council’s (SOWEC) Strategic Investment Model (SIM).

In company news, the Thistle Wind Partners (TWP) consortium involving DEME, Qair, and Aspiravi, has awardedRamboll the contract for pre-FEED of the foundations for its 1-GW Bowdun offshore wind project.

TWP started developing its projects in January 2022 after winning seabed lease options from Crown Estate Scotland for the 1-GW Ayre Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Orkney and the 1-GW Bowdun Offshore Wind Farm off the Aberdeenshire coast.

The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero has granted development consent to the Hynet Carbon Dioxide Pipeline application. The consent will allow the construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure to transport captured CO2 as part of the HyNet CCS cluster, where Italy’s Eni is the transportation and storage operator.

Hitachi Energy has won an order from SP Energy Networks to design and deliver a first-of-its-kind power quality solution to balance the grid and boost the flow of renewable energy across the UK. The solution will enable the addition of more renewables into the grid of SP Energy Networks, the electricity network operator for Central & Southern Scotland and Merseyside, Cheshire, North & Mid-Wales, and North Shropshire.

TagEnergy and Harmony Energy have powered their 49MW/98MWh Jamesfield battery energy storage system (BESS) near Abernethy, Scotland, after completing the standalone project.  

Liverpool City Region’s Mayor Steve Rotheram has unveiled advanced proposals to build the world’s largest tidal scheme on the banks of the River Mersey. The scheme would need government backing to complete the development stage.

Worley has been awarded services contracts by Shell supporting the delivery of Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen project located in the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

bp pulse, bp’s electric vehicle charging brand, has acquired the freehold of one of the largest truck stops in Europe, Ashford International Truckstop in Kent, as part of its drive to support heavy goods vehicles (HGV) fleets as they electrify. bp pulse plans to transform the site with mega-watt EV chargers for HGVs.

Net Zero Teesside Power (NZT Power) and the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP) have selected contractors for engineering, procurement, and construction contracts with a combined value of around £4 billion. The selection of nine leading specialist contractors across eight contract packages is a major milestone for the Teesside-based projects, which would contribute to the UK’s journey towards net zero emissions by 2050, thejoint venture partnersbp and Equinorsaid in March.

Top offshore wind developer Ørsted and Dillinger, the largest heavy steel plate producer in Europe, have strengthened their partnership by agreeing that Ørsted will be offered the first production of lower-emission steel for offshore wind foundations from Dillinger, subject to availability and commercial terms and conditions. Taking the current technology outlook into account, the reduction of the process-related carbon emissions from production is expected to be around 55-60 percent compared to conventional heavy plate steel production, Ørsted said.

The generation arm of UK’s Octopus Energy is investing in German renewables developer Lintas Green Energy by Octopus’ Sky fund taking a 50-percent stake of the Oldenburg-based green energy developer to accelerate their growth across the country. The investment will help build new wind and solar farms, targeting 1 GW by 2030 – enough clean energy to power 370,000 German homes.

TotalEnergiessaid in early April it would develop a second battery storage project in Belgium, at its depot in Feluy, following a first such project at the Antwerp refinery. Start-up of the Feluy battery storage project is expected at the end of 2025.

“We are pleased to announce this new storage project in Feluy, just a year after we began our Antwerp project, which should be operational by the end of the year,” said Olivier Jouny, Senior Vice President, Integrated Power at TotalEnergies.

“These projects are fully in line with our integrated development strategy for electricity, not just in Belgium, but globally.”

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 03-05-2024

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