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Liverpool Bay: biodiversity and CO₂ carbon storage

In 1995 we launched various initiatives to protect the local area and now we are building a CO₂ storage site.

Our biodiversity management plan in the bay

We have been operating in the United Kingdom since 1964, with holdings in five production sites. These include Liverpool Bay, where we have established an operating model that respects the local environment and creates value for everyone. Our Local Management Programme lasted from 1995 to 2018 has had a significant impact and included stabilising the sand dunes, the reintroduction and maintenance of a population of natterjack toads and using Welsh mountain ponies to manage the habitat and control the height of the grass cover in a sustainable way. We have also run a three-year programme to reintroduce the sand lizard and have created environmentally friendly parks that balance the needs of conservation with visitors’ enjoyment of the local beaches. Our Point of Ayr Land Management Programme looks after 182 hectares of dunes, farmland and salt marshes around Point of Ayr, Flintshire, while respecting the local natural environment. Started in 1995, it formed part of the original plan for the construction of the Point of Ayr Gas Terminal in North Wales and is regarded as having made a positive contribution to preserving the local environment and landscape. Since 2014, we have been 100 per cent responsible for Liverpool Bay operations and have further improved the habitat, helping to conserve the area while striking a balance with tourism – both important considerations for the coastal town of Talacre. 

Our project of carbon dioxide storage

In October 2020 the British Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) gave us a six-year licence to carry out a carbon dioxide storage project. The licence is for an area in Liverpool Bay, where we plan to reuse the exhausted hydrocarbon fields – specifically the Hamilton, North Hamilton and Lennox fields – and to go ahead with converting the related infrastructure for permanently storing captured CO₂ in the North-West of England and North Wales.

Thanks to this licence we will be able to help decarbonize the North-West of England and North Wales, but also work actively with industrial companies to capture and transport CO₂ from existing plants and future hydrogen production sites. Hydrogen will be used as a transition fuel for heating, electricity and transport, as part of the UK’s zero-emissions target for 2050. The project will have positive effects for local communities, creating new job opportunities and supporting the region’s economic development. Furthermore, we will be helping chart a practical path to an energy transition, and decarbonizing the economy.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action programme with 17 goals aimed at the social and economic development of communities and regions. As part of the Liverpool Bay project, we helped to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable SDG 11, and worked to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15). The carbon dioxide storage project also gives us a chance to help combat climate change (SDG 13).

 

Safety first

Workplace safety is a fundamental principle that we share with employees, contract workers and local communities. For that reason, we implement all necessary measures to avoid accidents, including organisational models to assess and manage risk, training programmes, skills development and the promotion of a culture of safety. In 2005, we set up DangerPoint, an interactive educational visitors’ centre focused on safety and preventing accidents aimed at schools and other organised groups. It features realistic urban scenarios with streets, pedestrian crossings, cars, railways, houses and shops, and is designed to give children and adults practical, interactive training, with courses tailored to different age groups.

Biodiversity before all else: gallery

The project has been going on for 13 years, and has seen us help protect the natural environment in Liverpool Bay. In collaboration with various local associations, we have carved out cycle paths and nature trails and launched a range of programmes for reintegrating amphibians, birds and mammals into the area.

Impact on the environment and local communities

In 2008, the Talacre Masterplan – a sustainable mobility project – helped reduce traffic congestion in and around the town, much to the satisfaction of local residents. This small Welsh town attracts large numbers of visitors in the summer because it has the only beach in the county. It is also the first beach that visitors come across when entering Wales via the North Wales coastal route. In 2014, we built a car park that has helped improve the habitat, reduce traffic congestion and increase revenues for local businesses. Meanwhile, our Environmental Educational Programme creates educational materials for local schools every year, allowing us to work with the community to help safeguard the local habitat and train students to understand the future needs of the area. Eni’s Field Study Centre was established specifically for this and delivers environmental education courses to young people for four weeks a year. Finally, Big Dee Day was originally designed to clean up the River Dee estuary, removing rubbish accumulated over many years of industrial use. Now in its 12th year, the project has evolved to include the history of the river so students and volunteers can teach others about its important role and ensure that it remains a popular tourist destination. 

The value of experience

The environmental principles behind the Liverpool Bay project are applicable to projects planned for other environmentally sensitive coastal areas, in particular those featuring large-scale industrial development.  

Partnership

In carrying out this project, we have worked with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Flintshire County Council and the Secretary of State for Wales. We have also developed beneficial relationships with such organisations as the North Wales Wildlife Trust, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and Keep Wales Tidy.