What is the giant drilling rig that has been spotted off Southport Beach, in Liverpool Bay?
Lots of people have been asking in our Stand Up For Southport Facebook group – while also posting some fantastic pictures of it!
It’s certainly been a huge talking point these past few days.
We can reveal that Eni UK, the company which owns and operates the oil and gas fields in Liverpool Bay, is currently completing some activity on the wells which connect to the oil and gas fields under Liverpool Bay.
This activity includes decommissioning the majority (around 55) of wells as they reach the end of their production life.
Alongside this well decommissioning activity is the need to convert around 11 wells so they can be reused to store carbon dioxide in the reservoirs, as part of the wider HyNet Carbon Capture and Storage project.
This project will allow carbon dioxide emissions from hard to abate industry in the north west of the UK to be stored in depleted gas reservoirs under Liverpool Bay, as part of the UK’s Net Zero target.
Eni UK has contracted the Valaris Norway drilling rig to support with this activity and that is what is visible from the Southport coastline at present.
HyNet is a hydrogen supply and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from industry and support economic growth in the north west of England and north Wales.
The work is intended to take around three and a half years until full completion.
During this time the Valaris Norway will be moved to several different locations within Liverpool Bay.
More information on the wider project can be found online at www.hynet.co.uk