Awards named in UK’s first CCS licensing round

Awardees named in UK’s first CCS licensing round


LONDON, September 18, 2023 – The UK has awarded 21 concessions to 14 companies in its first-ever CCS licensing round, the North Sea Transition Authority announced on Friday.

Winners include Shell, Perenco and Eni, which were each awarded blocks off the coast of Norfolk. The area is dubbed the Bacton Energy Hub and is expected to house carbon storage, hydrogen and offshore wind assets.

Other awarded sites are located off the coasts of Aberdeen, Teesside and Liverpool.

The newly licensed locations cover an area of around 12,000 square kilometres.

The sites could potentially store up to 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This represents around 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, which reached 341.5 million tonnes in 2021.


“Carbon storage will play a crucial role in the energy transition, storing carbon dioxide deep under the seabed and playing a key role in hydrogen production and energy hubs,” said Stuart Payne, chief executive of the North Sea Transition Authority.

“It is estimated that as many as 100 storage licences will be needed to meet the requirements for reaching net zero and the volume of applications received for the first round demonstrated the industry’s desire for further opportunities.”

Previously the UK granted six licences for CCS projects. The government also recently pledged funding of around USD 25 billion to progress existing CCS projects.

The first track of these projects will be carried out at two locations dubbed the Hynet and East Coast Cluster.

The second track of projects includes the Acorn and Viking CCS developments.

The UK aims to store between 20 million and 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2030 and more than 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2035.