Equinor, with its partners Shell and Total, has completed the drilling of confirmation well 31/5-7 Eos south of the Troll field in the North Sea. The purpose was to determine the suitability of the reservoir in the Johansen formation for CO₂ storage, as part of the Northern Lights project.
"This is an important milestone in realizing the possibility of a CO₂ storage on the Norwegian continental shelf,” says Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for project development.
"The preliminary results from the well so far have been positive. The drilling results will now be further analyzed before concluding,” says Tungesvik.
According to Equinor, extensive amounts of data have been acquired through coring, logging, sampling, and a production test.
"So far, we have proven a sealing shale layer and the presence of good quality sandstone in the reservoir," the company said.
Equinor, Shell, and Total are now analyzing the results as part of their final project’s decision process. The well was drilled using Seadrill's West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig.
In line with a shared vision to stimulate the necessary development of future CCS-projects (carbon, capture, and storage) through sharing, the partnership has decided that well data can be freely shared with external parties and the information will, therefore, be available for download. The solution is not yet decided, Equinor added.
Located some 2500 meters below the seabed, this is the first well drilled in exploitation license 001. If the Northern Lights project is sanctioned, the well will be used for injection and storage of CO₂.
“It’s always exciting when an exploration well is drilled. That was also the case here, where we not only hoped to prove a water-filled reservoir, but a reservoir that would be well suited for injection and storage of CO2. The well absolutely seems to have done the job, and it is an important premise in the Norwegian full-scale project,” says Eva Halland, who coordinates the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s CO2 storage project.
The Northern Lights partners plan for a potential investment decision in the spring of 2020. Such an investment decision is subject to agreement between the partners and government authorities on an implementation agreement, as well as ESA approval of the project. The project is subject to final approval by Norwegian authorities.
The storage project is part of the Norwegian State’s demonstration project “Full-scale CO₂ handling chain in Norway”, and includes CO₂ capture from up to two industrial plants in Eastern Norway.
If the partners succeed with the project, Northern Lights would be the first CO2 storage with the capacity to store CO2 from multiple industrial sources. The storage could have the potential to receive CO2 from both Norwegian and European sources