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NSTA to become offshore hydrogen transport and storage regulator

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Picture of Cyann Fielding

Cyann Fielding

Journalist at Tank Storage Magazine.

Image showing blue hydrogen molecule conceptThe North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) is expected to take on the role of offshore hydrogen transport and storage regulator following the conclusion of a consultation on the proposal.

The move is intended to support the industry by enabling pioneering projects to obtain the necessary licences and consents and move quickly into operation.

Once the legislation comes into effect, it will mean that:

• The NSTA will become the licensing/consenting authority for offshore hydrogen pipelines bringing these under similar arrangements currently used for oil and gas pipelines
• The NSTA will also become the licensing/consenting authority for offshore hydrogen storage, which will enable the NSTA to issue hydrogen storage licences
• The NSTA will become a consultee to OPRED on decommissioning and repurposing for both offshore hydrogen transport and storage
• OPRED will become the decommissioning and environmental regulator for offshore hydrogen transport and storage

The move to put hydrogen regulation in place follows the publication of the UK Hydrogen Strategy in 2021, which emphasised the role that hydrogen can play in the drive to reach net zero.

Hedvig Ljungerud, NSTA director of strategy, says: ‘This decision highlights the importance of hydrogen in a net zero future and further cements the NSTA’s role in driving forward the energy transition. We fully appreciate the need for an integrated energy basin and firmly believe we are best placed to deliver it.’

He adds: ‘It is also vital for the development of the wider hydrogen economy, which the NSTA will support alongside our ongoing work in carbon storage and fossil fuels.’

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