IOG signs collaboration deal with Heriot-Watt University centre
UK gas company IOG has signed a collaboration agreement with Heriot-Watt University's Centre for Doctoral Training, ‘GeoNetZero CDT’ to support research into carbon capture and storage and other renewable opportunities.
The AIM-traded firm said the research would be across quads 48, 49, 52 and 53, the location of its asset portfolio and broader Bacton catchment area in the UK Southern North Sea.
It said that the revised Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) strategy's promotion of carbon capture and storage would help to decarbonise the North Sea, and progress the “energy transition”.
The company said it also believed that its existing infrastructure, knowledge and skills could play a “constructive role” in that transition.
Extending the economic life of the Southern North Sea basin in a “sustainable way” was likely to involve long-term integration of the established gas industry with wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage solutions.
In particular, a successful blue hydrogen-carbon capture cluster in the Bacton area would require consistent gas supply, which is the company’s core business, as well as steam reformation facilities and secure offshore carbon storage sites, all in reasonable proximity.
That storage element would be the focus of the research, the board said, filling the gap in the geological analysis of the factors that maintain seal integrity at subsurface sites.
Drawing on an extensive gas industry archive of seismic, well and core data, the company said the key focus would be on proving which fields and aquifers across the Bacton catchment area were the most suitable carbon sinks, particularly where existing infrastructure could provide operational synergies.
“We are very pleased to support GeoNetZero CDT's valuable research into carbon storage across our operating area,” said chief executive officer Andrew Hockey.
“This collaboration demonstrates our support for the UK's Net Zero commitment, the new OGA strategy and the recently-announced North Sea Transition Deal.
“IOG is committed to Bacton and its catchment area, where we have established a long-term strategic position to underpin our growth into a safe and sustainable UK gas producer.”
Hockey said the area benefited from “substantial” remaining gas resources, “extensive” transportation and processing infrastructure, and proximity to major markets.
“In that context, rigorous technical analysis of nearby carbon capture and storage potential is a key element in validating the investment thesis for blue hydrogen.
“This will inform the roadmap towards a decarbonised energy hub at Bacton that could bring new economic opportunities and extend the life of existing infrastructure.”
At 1354 BST, shares in IOG were down 2.18% at 22.01p.