Renewable Energy M&A: bp enters the Viking CCS project in the UK, acquires a 40% stake from Harbour Energy

published on 18 April 2023

The acquisition expands bp’s legacy footprint in the region, which is focused on oil and gas exploration and production activities. The company will leverage its deep understanding of the North Sea geology and gas transport networks to effectively build out large-scale low-carbon projects, in partnership with other oil and gas (O&G) companies and technology service providers. Beyond Viking, bp is currently working on two CCS initiatives in the region. The East Coast Cluster, which comprises BP's Net Zero Teesside and Equinor's Zero Carbon Humber schemes, as well as H2Teesside, which cumulatively have the capacity to capture and store up to 4 MMT of CO2/yr.

bp’s latest move closely follows the UK government’s decision to launch the "Track 2" cluster sequencing process, as part of the ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, announced in Nov’21. The plan targets to deploy CCUS in a minimum of two clusters by mid-decade, and four clusters by 2030. Further, the Spring Budget 2023 provided an additional £20bn funding commitment to help scale up CCS projects across the UK. 

Moving forward, Enerdatics expects the UK to continue attracting the lion’s share of CCS/CCUS-focussed investments in the continent, driven primarily by ambitious emission reduction targets. The government aims to halve emissions from the O&G operations in the North Sea by 50% by 2030, compared to 2018 levels. Enerdatics believes that future investments in large-scale capture and storage facilities will be driven by O&G firms, such as Equinor, Eni, TotalEnergies, Shell and bp, who are all currently participating in major initiatives. Build-out of the facilities will be supported by way of strategic alliances with companies such as Linde, Air Products, Snam and Aker Carbon Capture, who also seek to reposition their services offerings for the development of low-carbon projects.

The above analysis is proprietary to Enerdatics’ energy analytics team, based on the current understanding of the available data. The information is subject to change and should not be taken to constitute professional advice or a recommendation.

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