World-First Fuel Trial Could Cut North Sea Oil And Gas Emissions

Credits: michal-pech-GrijtNGd/Unsplash

The first attempt anywhere in the world to retrofit oil and gas infrastructure and switch to renewable fuel could lead to the North Sea industry’s carbon footprint being cut by 75 per cent, reports The Herald.

North Sea offshore industry

A pilot scheme to demonstrate running a gas turbine on green methanol fuel will begin in Aberdeen today, which if scaled up, could significantly cut emissions for the North Sea offshore industry.

Green methanol has been seen as an alternative fuel for high-intensive industries such as the oil and gas sector and maritime shipping.

There are two variations under development, biomethanol, which is produced from the gasification of sustainable biomass sources, and e-methanol, produced from green hydrogen which is captured from splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, using a process called electrolysis.

The North Sea oil and gas sector has been urged to move faster in decarbonising its emissions.

Last month, a stark review by Tory MP Chris Skidmore, commissioned by the UK Government, called on the industry to clean up its operations after failing to commit to statutory adviser, the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC), target of reducing emissions by 68% by 2030.

Instead, the industry has pledged to reduce emissions by just 50% by the end of the decade.

Net Zero Technology Centre and Siemens Energy

The pilot by the Net Zero Technology Centre and Siemens Energy aims to pilot and develop a cost-effective, retrofittable solution for existing gas turbines to help decarbonise the power generation sector across Scotland’s oil and gas operations.

If successful, the pilot paves the way for existing offshore assets to operate using low carbon fuels without extensive modifications.

Those behind the pilot claims that if adopted, this method will help the energy industry reach its net-zero targets and provide significant domestic and export potential.

The ETF alternative fuel gas turbine project is one of seven projects being delivered through the centre’s net zero technology transition programme (NZTTP), which was awarded £16.5 million from the Scottish Government’s energy transition fund to transform the North Sea energy system.

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Source: The Herald