International oil giants hand in $685m Northern Lights plan to Norwegian government to develop project to capture 5 million tonnes of CO2 a year from European heavy-emitters
15 May 2020 14:37 GMT UPDATED 15 May 2020 15:22 GMT
By Darius Snieckus
Energy giants Equinor, Shell and Total have signed off on a NKr7bn ($685m) plan to build what would be the world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) network, the Northern Lights project off Norway.
The flagship CCS development – the lead-off well for which was drilled late last year – could eventually capture and store up to 5 million tonnes of CO2 from heavy-emitters around the EU in a giant saline aquifer south of the Troll offshore oil & gas field in the North Sea.
“The Northern Lights project 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,” said Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, Projects & Drilling at Equinor.
“Development of CCS projects will also represent new activities and industrial opportunities for Norwegian and European industries.
“This unique project opens for decarbonisation of industries with limited opportunities for CO 2 -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.”
A final investment decision on the project plan, which has been submitted to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, hinges on approval by the Norwegian authorities and rubber-stamping by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.
Syrie Crouch, Shell’s vice president for CCS, said: “CCS is a crucial technology to help society and economies thrive through the energy transition. 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.”