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An agreement has been struck on L10 North Sea's design and engineering stage.

By Callum Cyrus

Neptune Energy said June 20 it had struck a design and engineering agreement to deliver the 4-5mn metric tons/year L10 North Sea carbon storage project off the coast of the Netherlands.

Neptune is one of four companies backing the scheme, together with ExxonMobil-owned XTO Netherlands, independent E&P company Rosewood Exploration and private equity firm EBN Capital.

The L10 North Sea CCS project would use depleted gas fields in the Neptune-operated L10-A, B and E licence areas. It represents the first stage in what could be a wider development of the L10 licensing area, to support larger volumes of COstorage.

L10 North Sea is expected to launch in 2026 with a final investment decision due next year. The partners aim to have wrapped up FEED design by year-end, and will then apply to Dutch regulatory authorities to secure a CCS storage licence. Under present plans, existing infrastructure around the storage site could be used to accelerate delivery.

Talks are being held by the consortium with industrial emitters from several business sectors. Expressions of interest could be used to support a bid to secure Dutch state funding, through Amsterdam's sustainable energy and climate transition programme SDE++.

Neptune Energy is aiming to achieve carbon negative operations by by 2030, in terms of both scope 1 and scope 3 emissions. It currently serves around 11% of the UK's gas supply from assets in the UK and Norway, but operates across Europe, North Africa and Asia Pacific.

"CCS is crucial for achieving the Dutch climate goals for 2030," said the company's Dutch managing director Lex de Groot. "This cooperation agreement is a significant step in the development of the Neptune-operated L10 project, which supports our strategy to go beyond net zero and store more carbon than is emitted from our operations, scope 1, and sold products, scope 3, by 2030."

ExxonMobil's $15bn investment in initiatives that lower greenhouse gas emissions has spurred the US major to expand its European CCS and energy transition activity. In addition to the Netherlands, Exxon has lined up a potential blue hydrogen cluster on the UK's southern coast, signing an MoU with its project partners in December 2021.

Dan Ammann, president of ExxonMobil low carbon solutions, said: "ExxonMobil welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with industry and the government in support of the L10 carbon capture and storage project.

"Carbon capture and storage is a proven, ready-to-deploy technology that can help reduce emissions in some of the highest-emitting sectors and advance society’s net-zero goals.”