Important milestone in the Northern Lights storage project

Source: press release, 15 May 2020

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru
Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru (photo: OED/NTB Scanpix)

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has received and started its assessment of the development plan for the Northern Lights CO2-storage project.

The Northern Lights project is the transport and storage part of the Norwegian demonstration project for full-scale COcapture and storage. Northern Lights is a partnership between Equinor, Shell and Total.

“Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is important for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. The submission of the development plan is a necessary step in order to realise full-scale CO2-capture and storage in Norway. The Northern Lights project will also be able to offer CO2 storage from other countries. Northern Lights is an example of the expertise and experience we have built up in the oil and gas industry being used in the development of new technology and new solutions that ensure sustainable use of energy. Hywind Tampen, which was just approved by the authorities, is another such example,” says Minister Tina Bru.

The companies behind Northern Lights estimate that the first part of the project has an investment cost of about NOK 6.9 billion.

The development plan is historical: It is the first development plan according to the Norwegian storage regulations.

If the Norwegian state makes an investment decision for the demonstration project, Northern Lights will receive CO2 on ships at an onshore reception facility in Øygarden municipality. There, CO2 must be stored intermittently before being pumped through a pipeline to an injection well on the seabed. From the well, CO2 will be permanently stored in the Johansen- and Cook-formations about 2,660 metres below the sea level in the North Sea.

The Ministry will now assess the development plan in collaboration with the relevant ministries and underlying agencies. The assessment will form part of the decision-making basis for the Norwegian demonstration project for full-scale CO2capture and storage. This includes, in addition to transport and storage, CO2-capture at Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud and/or from Norcem’s cement factory in Brevik.

The government’s investment decision is scheduled this year. The Ministry will then present cost estimates for the entire CO2-capture and storage project.

“The assessment of the development plan will form one part of the basis for the government when it considers the investment in the Norwegian demonstration project for full-scale CO2-capture and storage. This is scheduled in connection with the Government’s state budget for 2021,” says Bru.

Earlier this year, the companies completed the drilling of a well confirming that the planned storage site has the properties required for permanent CO2 storage. The plan is to use the same well for CO2 injection.