Norway seeks exploration for subsea CO2 storage

Carbon storage at Sleipner. Image: Equinor

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has announced acreage for permits for exploitation of a subsea reservoir for injection and storage of CO2.

In the same manner as for the award of production licences, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will evaluate the geotechnical work and advise the ministry prior to an award. The application deadline Sept. 7. Awards are expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

It marks the first time the ministry has made available for application for exploitation permission for storage of CO₂ on the Norwegian continental shelf.

It represents a concrete follow-up of the government's ambition for full-scale CO2 handling in Norway and is an important part of the work on the storage part, state secretary Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde said in a statement.

Full-scale CO2 storage ambitions

The government has the ambition to realize a cost-effective solution for full-scale CO2 handling in Norway, given that this provides technology development in an international perspective, it said. This week’s announcement of the area for storage of CO2 near the Troll field is part of that work.

Norway, which seeks to transport and store CO2 from other European countries in the long term, already has longstanding offshore CO2 sequestration projects underway at the Sleipner and Snøhvit oil and gas facilities.

In operation since 1996, the Sleipner CO2 storage facility was the first in the world to inject CO2 into a dedicated geological storage setting. As of mid 2017, Sleipner has sequestered more than 17 million tonnes of CO2. Snøhvit, which sources its CO2 from a liquefied natural gas facility, has accepted more than four million tonnes of CO2 since start-up in 2008, according to the Global CCS Institute.

Allocation of the exploitation permits is conditional upon the applicant having the financial strength, technical and geological competence and reliability deemed necessary to operate and control the storage location, the ministry said.

The announcement covers geographically an area located southwest of the Troll field. Within this area, the application should include the reservoirs the applicant has mapped and considers suitable for storage of CO2, and specify the coordinates of the area for which the permit should include.

The actual geographical scope, location, duration, possible work commitment and specific terms of the exploitation permit are determined at the time of grant.