The Norwegian Government on Tuesday today announced its funding decision for the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project, led by Equinor, Shell, and Total.
The three oil companies made a conditional investment decision on the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project in May 2020. The project partners are now in the process of establishing a Joint Venture, (subject to merger clearance), which will be for all project activities, including business development.
The project will initially include the capture of CO2 from Norwegian industrial capture sources. The Northern Lights project comprises transportation, receipt, and permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the northern North Sea, and will be open to third parties.
It will be the first-ever cross-border, open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure network and offers European industrial emitters the opportunity to store their CO2 safely and permanently underground. Once the CO2 is captured onshore, it will be transported by newly designed ships, injected and permanently stored 2,600 meters below the seabed of the North Sea.
Phase one of the project will be completed in mid-2024 with a capacity of up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
"The funding decision demonstrates the Norwegian government's strong support for the development of a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) value chain, which is essential if Europe is to achieve its carbon neutrality targets," Equinor said.
According to Equinor, Northern Lights will be the first of its kind – an open and available infrastructure enabling transport of CO2 from industrial capture sites to a terminal in Øygarden for intermediate storage before being transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a reservoir 2600 meters under the seabed.
The project is the transport and storage component of Longship, the Norwegian Government’s full-scale carbon capture and storage project.
Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru said: "Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is important to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. "Longship" is the largest climate project ever in the Norwegian industry and will contribute substantially to the development of CCS as an efficient mitigation measure. Working together with the industry, the step-by-step approach has confirmed that the project is feasible. I want to thank the Northern Lights partners Equinor, Shell, and Total - and I am looking forward to our continued cooperation."
Equinor CEO Anders Opedal said: "Northern Lights is a true pioneering project and the first of its kind offering a solution to cut emissions from industrial sources in Norway and Europe. We are ready to start realizing this project that will be an important part of the climate solution. I want to thank the Norwegian government and for the broad political support in making this a reality. I am certain that we together with our partners and suppliers will make this project a success.
“The Norwegian government’s initiative and support for what will be the world’s first open-source CO2, transport and storage project shows real vision and commitment. Northern Lights is designed to provide a service to industrial emitters who can now take action on emissions that can’t be avoided. This is key to bringing real progress towards tackling climate change. Shell will play our part in making this a reality,” says Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.
“The development of the carbon capture and sequestration value chain is essential to decarbonize Europe's industries. We are a long-standing partner of Norway, a pioneer country which has more than 20 years of experience in CCS, and today we thank its government for making possible the final investment decision to develop Northern Lights. CCS is key to achieving carbon neutrality in Europe and is fully part of our Climate Ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050,” says Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total.