Mapping hydrogen storage capacities of UK offshore hydrocarbon fields and investigating potential synergies with offshore wind

Peecock Anna* (Corresponding Author), Edlmann Katriona, Mouli-Castillo Julien, Martinez-Felipe Alfonso, Russell McKenna

*Corresponding author for this work

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Energy storage is an essential component of the transitioning UK energy system, a crucial mechanism for stabilising intermittent renewable electricity supply and meeting seasonal variation in demand. Low-carbon hydrogen provides a balancing mechanism for variable renewable energy supply and demand, and a method for decarbonising domestic heating, essential for meeting the UK's 2050 net-zero targets. Geological hydrogen storage in porous rocks offers large-scale energy storage over a variety of timescales and has promising prospects due to the widespread availability of UK offshore hydrocarbon fields, with established reservoirs and existing infrastructure. This contribution explores the potential for storage within fields in the UK Continental Shelf. Through comparison of available energy storage capacity and current domestic gas demands, we quantify the hydrogen required to decarbonise the UK gas network. We estimate a total hydrogen storage capacity of 3454TWh, significantly exceeding the 120TWh seasonal domestic demand. Multi-criteria decision analysis, in consultation with an expert focus group, identified optimal fields for coupling with offshore wind, which could facilitate large-scale renewable hydrogen production and storage. These results will be used as inputs for future energy system modelling, optimising potential synergies between offshore oil and gas and renewables sectors, in the context of the energy transition.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberSP528-2022-40
Number of pages17
JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
Issue number1
Early online date22 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

AP is supported by a TotalEnergies PhD studentship. KE is supported by funding from the HyStorPor grant number EP/S027815/1 and the EU H2020 HyUsPRe project reference 101006632. The authors would like to thank the OGA for providing access to the NDR database. AMF would like to acknowledge the University of Aberdeen for funding through the GCRF internal pump priming scheme (SF10206-51) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh for the award of one SAPHIRE project.
The authors would also like to thank members of the expert focus group that participated in this study: Ali Akbar Eftekhari, Andy Robertson, Arthur Satterley, Chris Bond, Christian Husum Frederiksen, Courtney West, Georgios Yfantis, Hugh Riddell, Ian Phillips, Martin McCormack, Matthew Booth,
Simon Shoulders, Susie Pezzoni and the three participants who will remain anonymous.

Data Availability Statement

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).


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