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Commitment to carbon storage

April 26, 2005, 16:55 CEST

A continued commitment to capturing and storing carbon dioxide as an environmental measure was promised today, 26 April, by Tor Fjæran, Statoil’s senior vice president for the environment.

He was speaking at a carbon dioxide seminar organised by Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

The same meeting was presented with a report on opportunities and challenges relating to carbon dioxide injection for improved oil recovery (IOR) on the Norwegian continental shelf.

This document has been compiled by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), with contributions from Statoil.

“We’re working actively on carbon storage in sub-surface structures,” said Mr Fjæran.

“Using carbon dioxide for IOR is very challenging because it requires stable access to large volumes of the gas, costs are very high and the resource potential is uncertain.”

Statoil currently stores carbon dioxide below ground on its Sleipner East field in the North Sea and the In Salah gas field in Algeria.

Plans also call for this greenhouse gas to be separated from the Snøhvit wellstream in the Barents Sea, which begins to flow next year, and injected into a sub-surface formation.

Statoil’s Gullfaks development is the only Norwegian field where a detailed study has been made of using carbon dioxide for IOR.

However, this project was shelved because carbon injection cannot compete with water or gas as a drive mechanism, Mr Fjæran emphasised.

The Gullfaks organisation received the NPD’s prize for IOR in 2004 for such measures as using new downhole technology, new wells and phasing in satellites.

This field currently has a recovery factor of more than 50 per cent, but Statoil’s goal is to increase that proportion to at least 62 per cent.

The group’s Statfjord late-life project will help to raise the recovery factor on this North Sea field to almost 70 per cent for oil, and from 53 per cent to 75 per cent for gas.

“In the long term, it could be possible to realise the use of carbon injection to boost recovery,” said Mr Fjæran. “So we are investing in research to reduce the cost of carbon capture.”

The group is also participating in a number of research activities to qualify the storage of carbon dioxide as a good environmental measure.

Click here to read Mr Fjæran’s presentation.