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European cooperation on carbon capture and storage
Equinor has, on behalf of the partners of the Northern Lights project, signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with seven European companies to develop value chains in carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Equinor, in cooperation with its partners Shell and Total, is studying the possibilities for developing a CO2 storage on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The Northern Lights project includes transport, reception and permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the northern part of the North Sea. The storage project is part of the Norwegian State’s ‘Full-scale CO₂ handling chain in Norway’ demonstration project.
MoUs have been signed with Air Liquide, Arcelor Mittal, Ervia, Fortum Oyj, HeidelbergCement, Preem and Stockholm Exergi. Under the agreements, the parties will evaluate solutions for CO2 deliveries and transport, develop a timeline for possible final investment decision (FID) and start of operations, and cooperate on the CCS dialogue with national authorities and the European Union.
‘Carbon capture and storage will be vital to reach the global climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Sustainable CCS projects can only be developed in cooperation between governments and companies. We are therefore very pleased that the Northern Lights partners and leading European companies are taking the first steps to realise a European CO2 transport and storage system,’ says Eldar Sætre, President and CEO of Equinor.
Final binding commercial agreements will depend on positive investment decisions for the Northern Lights project, the Norwegian State’s full-scale CCS project and for third-party projects. The partners are currently reducing costs and further developing the Northern Lights project, aiming for an investment decision in 2020.
‘We are also cooperating with the authorities to establish a commercial framework enabling us to pursue the project,’ reports Sverre Overå, Project Director for the Northern Lights project.
At the end of 2019, the project partners plan to drill a confirmation well for CO2 storage in the Johansen formation covered by the Aurora licence (EL001) to study the reservoir’s suitability and capacity for CO2 storage. Earlier this year, the Norwegian authorities decided to help fund the work on this well, according to Equinor.