Equinor, along with its partners Shell and Total, have submitted an application with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) for the right to inject and store carbon dioxide (CO2) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).


Image: Officials from Shell, Total, Equinor, and NPD. Photo: courtesy of Arne Bjørøen/ Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The partners are seeking an exploitation permit for a subsea reservoir for injection and storage of CO2 as part of their Northern Lights project.

NPD said that the authorities have announced a licensing round for injection and storage of CO2 for the first time.

However, the licensing round received only one bid from Equinor and its partners in the Northern Lights project, when the deadline expired recently.

Northern Lights authority relations Per Gunnar Stavland said: “We look forward to the further dialogue with the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate about this project through the autumn.”

The authorities, which announced the relevant area on 05 July, are expected to announce awards under the licensing round during the fourth quarter of 2018.

At the time, Norwegian State Secretary Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde said that the announcement was a concrete follow-up of Norway’s ambitions for full-scale CO2 capture and storage in the country. It is also an important element of the work on the storage part.

NPD said in a statement: “The ambition is to achieve a cost-effective solution for full-scale CO2 capture and storage in Norway, given that this results in technology development in an international perspective, cf. Prop. 85 S (2017-2018) (Storting proposition)”

NPD exploration assistant director Wenche Tjelta Johansen said: “In a similar manner as with the award of production licences, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will evaluate the geotechnical work and provide advice to the Ministry prior to an award.”

In 2017, Equinor, Shell and Total have signed a partnership agreement to mature the development of carbon storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Backed by Gassnova and other relevant governmental stakeholders, the storage project aims to stimulate necessary development of CCS to meet the long-term climate targets in Norway and the EU, Equinor said.

Shell environment and safety executive vice-president Monika Hausenblas said: “Shell sees CCS as a transformative technology that can significantly reduce emissions from those industrial sectors that will continue to rely on hydrocarbons for decades to come.”