Norway’s Equinor and Germany-based independent European oil and gas producer Wintershall Dea have agreed to develop a comprehensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) supply chain system linking Germany, the largest continent’s carbon emitter, to CSS storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The Norwegian/German CCS project aims to build a 900 km long open-access gas pipeline linking a CO2 collection center in northern Germany to storage sites off Norway. The pipeline would transport up to 40 million tonnes of CO2 per year, an amount representing 20% of Germany’s industrial emissions in 2021 – 181 mtpa as recorded by the country’s state environmental authority.
Initially, the CO2 would be delivered to the storage facilities by ship, as the planned pipeline would not become operational until some time before 2032 and would expand to its maximum capacity over 5 years, the two companies said in a joint statement announcing the agreement on August 30.
But infrastructure is not the only challenge.
As Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren said, “Wintershall Dea and Equinor will work together to establish technical and business solutions for the development of cross-border CCS value chains in Europe and will work with governments to shape a regulatory framework that can allow it. ”
To start, Wintershall Dea and Equinor plan to jointly apply for offshore CO2 storage licenses to sequester between 15 million and 20 million tonnes per year on the Norwegian continental shelf, a figure that will need to be increased as the pipeline enters service and reaches its design capacity of 40 mtpy over the next decade .
Norway signs the world’s first cross-border CO2 transport trade agreement
Meanwhile, a day before the Norway/Germany announcement, Norwegian joint venture Northern Lights, which has designed its business model around providing carbon storage as a service, signed the world’s first CO trade agreement. cross-border2 transport and storage with the Yara Sluiskil ammonia and fertilizer plant in the Netherlands.
Northern Lights is incorporated in Norway as a joint liability partnership owned equally by Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies. Its agreement with Yara provides for the capture, compression and liquefaction in the Netherlands of 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year to be transported by ship to Norway, where it will be stored 2,500 m under the seabed off Bergen from the beginning of 2025.
With Yara’s volumes, Northern Lights Phase 1 will have reached full injection capacity of 1.5 mpta, according to Equinor, and the joint venture will proceed to make a final investment decision on Phase 2. , which would bring storage to a total of 5 million–6 million tonnes of CO2 per year in 2026.
Announcing the deal on August 29 at the Offshore Northern Seas conference in Stavanger, Equinor CEO and Chairman Anders Opedal hailed the development as “a major milestone for the development of capture, transport and storage carbon” that unlocks “a critical value chain for the world to reach net zero by 2050.”
In April, Equinor obtained the operator mandate for the development of new CO2 storage facilities in the North Sea (Smeaheia) and in the Barents Sea (Polaris). Smeaheia alone would have a storage capacity of 20 mtpa, according to the Norwegian major.
Wintershall Dea operates three subsea producing fields off the coast of Norway, including the Nova project, which produced first oil on Aug. 1, the company said.