20 JULY 2020
Norway has received permission from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to proceed with a $2.4 billion investment in two large-scale carbon capture facilities, along with the infrastructure needed to transport and store the CO2 in subsea reservoirs. It is the largest single state aid award ever approved by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA).
The project’s partners will cover an additional $500 million in costs. Total, Equinor, Shell, steel mill operator ArcelorMittal and Heidelberg Cement will all play a role in the plan.
The giant CCS project will capture carbon from a cement plant in Brevik and a waste-to-energy powerplant in the Oslo area. Both facilities will manage the construction of their own carbon capture equipment. The CO2 will be compressed, liquified and transported by ship to a marine terminal on Norway’s west coast. It will then be piped under the sea to an offshore storage site, where it will be injected into a geological formation for permanent encapsulation. The Northern Lights carbon storage project – a joint venture between Shell, Total and Equinor – will handle the transportation and injection.
In March, Shell, Total and Equinor completed a test well for CO2 storage at a site south of the Troll field in the North Sea. Coring found a sealing shale layer and the presence of good quality sandstone in the reservoir, Equinor said. “The preliminary results from the well so far have been positive. The drilling results will now be further analysed before concluding,” said Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for project development. “This is an important milestone in realizing the possibility of CO2 storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.”
In May, based on promising results from the test well, the partners reached a positive final investment decision on Northern Lights.
“The Northern Lights project could become the first step to develop a value chain for carbon capture and storage, 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,” said?Anders Opedal, EVP for technology, projects and drilling at Equinor.