Oil majors make historic investment decision on CO2 storage project

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co2 storage
The project will store CO2 some 2,500 metres below the seabed. Credit: Equinor

Equinor, Shell and Total have made a decision to invest in a CO2 transportation and storage project, despite the challenging conditions they currently face in global oil market.

The companies have decided to go ahead with the Northern Lights project in Norway’s first exploitation licence for CO₂ storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The project will result in CO2 storage nearly 2,500 metres below the seabed.

The process will involve capturing CO2 onshore from industrial emitters and transporting it by ships for permanent storage below the seabed.

A terminal to receive the transported CO2 will be constructed in Western Norway. It will be transported to the offshore location through a pipeline.

The initial investments in the CO2 project are estimated to total almost NOK 6.9bn ($670m).

To be executed in phases, the project is subject final investment decision by Norwegian authorities and approval from the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA).

First phase of CO2 storage project to come online in 2024

If the project get go ahead from Norwegian authorities in 2020, the first phase, which will include capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, will expected to be operational in 2024.

Equinor projects & drilling technology executive vice president Anders Opedal said: “The Northern Lights project could become the first step to develop a value chain for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which is vital to reach the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Development of CCS projects will also represent new activities and industrial opportunities for Norwegian and European industries.”

The CO2 receiving terminal will be located at the premises of Naturgassparken industrial area in the municipality of Øygarden.

Equinor’s facilities at the Sture terminal in Øygarden will be used to remotely operate the terminal.

Shell CCUS vice president Syrie Crouch said:  “CCS is a crucial technology to help society and economies thrive through the energy transition. Shell is active in all parts of the CCS value chain and Northern Lights further strengthens our global CCS portfolio.

“We appreciate the leadership shown by the Norwegian Government to accelerate the development of CCS value chains and believe that the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage solution has the potential to unlock investment in capture projects across Europe,”