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    Partners Take FID in Norwegian Offshore CCS Project (Update)


The three European companies are planning a phased project to inject third-party CO2 underground.

by: William Powell

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Partners Take FID in Norwegian Offshore CCS Project (Update)

(Adds details from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)

The three partners in Norway's Northern Lights offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS) project have taken a final investment decision, they said May 15. Still needed for the Nkr 6.9bn ($660mn) project are approvals from the Norwegian government and the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority. More than half the value of the contracts – 57% – will be retained in Norway. If all goes to plan, operations will start in 2024.

The Northern Lights project, which groups Norwegian state Equinor and the European majors Shell and Total, could become the first step to develop a value chain for CCS, "which is vital to reach the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement," Equinor said.

“This unique project opens for decarbonisation of industries with limited opportunities for CO2-reductions. It can be the first CO2 storage for Norwegian and European industries and can support goals to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050,” it added. Following the investment decision, the partners intend to establish a joint venture company. 

Shell said CCS is a "crucial technology" and the Northern Lights CO2 project "has the potential to unlock investment in capture projects across Europe."

Total said it was proud to be part of this first commercial-scale carbon transportation and storage project in Europe: "Today, more than ever, we are willing to maintain our efforts on the development of the CCS technology which is needed to reach the EU carbon neutrality goals and is fully part of Total’s new Climate Ambition to get to Net Zero by 2050.

Phased project

The project will be developed in phases. Phase 1 includes capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5mn metric tons/yr of CO2. Once the CO2 is captured onshore by industrial CO2-emitters, Northern lights will be responsible for transport by ships, injection and permanent storage some 2,500 metres below the seabed, not far from the Troll oil and gas field.

The CO2 receiving terminal will be at the Naturgassparken industrial area in the municipality of Oygarden in Western Norway. The plant will be remotely operated from Equinor’s facilities at the Sture terminal in Oygarden and the subsea facilities from Oseberg A platform in the North Sea. The facility will allow for further phases to expand capacity, depending on demand from from large CO2 emitters across Europe.

First phase: Fortum and Norcem

The offshore regulator Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, which has received detailed plans, said the first CO2 will be captured from Fortum’s heat recovery plant at Klementsrud in Oslo and Norcem’s cement factory in Breivik in the municipality of Porsgrunn, and then transported by ship to an intermediate storage location at Kollsnes in the Oygarden municipality.

From there, the liquid CO2 will be transported in a 100-km long pipeline on the seabed and pumped into a reservoir at a depth of around 2,700 metres in the North Sea for permanent storage. The reservoir is in the Johansen Formation southwest of the Troll field.