Photo: Zara Walker. Unsplash
Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCS & CCUS):
We’re sending carbon back where it came from.
How do we stop CO2 reaching the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming? One solution that will be increasingly important to develop is capturing and storing carbon underground — quite literally putting it back where it came from. Equinor is a leading pioneer in this technology, called CCS.
Carbon capture, utilisation and storage, or CCS, is an important emissions reduction technology that can be applied across the energy system.
CCS is one of the measures that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The International Energy Agency states that we will need to store billions of tonnes of CO2 every year if we are to reduce global warming.
We have been developing technology for more than 20 years
We are part of more than 40 CCS projects
1000 years’ CO2
A millennium of Norwegian CO2 emissions can potentially be stored beneath the North Sea
We are now pursuing new business models to make CCS commercially viable in the decarbonised energy systems of the future.
We’re leading studies on behalf of Norwegian authorities to develop full-scale CCS in Norway. The concept includes capturing CO2 from various onshore industries, transporting it by ships and injecting and permanently storing it 1000 – 2000 meters below the seabed.
Leveraging our R&D and innovation capabilities will be key to developing new energy solutions at an acceptable cost. We are focusing on options to maintain the competitiveness of oil and gas in a low-carbon future, with efforts in the area of storage and utilisation of CO2, decarbonisation of natural gas through hydrogen value chains, and low carbon fuel transportation solutions. We are also exploring synergies between renewables and oil and gas value chains.
Northern Lights—a new business
opportunity for CO2 transport and storage
Together with Shell and Total, we are developing infrastructure on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for transport and storage of CO2 from various onshore industries. The project, called Northern Lights, involves transporting liquified CO2 by pipeline to permanent offshore subsea storage.
CO2 will be stored up to 2 km beneath the sea bed, permanently and safely
Northern Lights will have an initial storage capacity of 1.5 million tonnes CO2 annually.
The Northern Lights project is part of the Norwegian full-scale CCS project. The full-scale project includes capture of CO2 from industrial capture sources in the Oslo fjord region (cement and waste-to-energy) and shipping of liquid CO2 from these industrial capture sites to an onshore terminal on the Norwegian west coast. From there, the liquified CO2 will be transported by pipeline to a storage location subsea offshore in the North Sea, for permanent storage.
The solution being considered will have an initial storage capacity of around 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Once the CO2 is captured onshore, it will be transported by ships, injected and permanently stored 1,000—2,000 meters below the seabed.
This set-up is a unique solution and enables accommodating large CO2 volumes—from across Europe—that would otherwise have been emitted.
Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM)
Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) is the world’s largest and most flexible test centre for developing CO2 capture technologies and a leading competence centre for carbon capture.
TCM is located at one of Norway’s most complex industrial facilities, Mongstad in Hordaland county. Mongstad is home to the world’s largest technology centre for development and testing of CO2 capture technology. The facility started operation in 2013, and it is owned and operated by Gassnova (77.5%), Equinor (operator, 7.5%), Shell (7.5%) and Sasol (7.5%).
The knowledge acquired from the TCM facility will be an important contributor towards the development of carbon capture technology.
We have decades of experience from CCS projects of various sizes, successfully maturing the technology from the R&D stage to operations, putting us in a leading position to contribute in making CCS reach commercial scale.
By sharing our research and expertise with research institutions, academia, other companies and authorities we also contribute to the further development of CCS worldwide.
Offshore CO2 storage in Norway. Ongoing
We are currently carrying out a feasibility study regarding CO2 storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Sleipner West. Operational since 1996
We capture about 1 million tonnes of CO2 each year from the natural gas on the Equinor-operated Sleipner field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The CO2 is stored in a saline formation 1 km below the seabed.
Snøhvit LNG. First CO2 injected in 2008
The Equinor-operated Snøhvit field in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea supplies gas to the world’s first LNG plant with CO2 capture and storage.
Algeria, In Salah. Start-up in 2004
The gas field In Salah is so far the only project outside Norway where we have helped capture and store CO2. More than three million tonnes of CO2 were stored before being stopped in 2011 due to capacity limitations in the geological structure.
Other relevant sites about CCS
To learn more about CCS and CCUS technology, how it works and how it can be applied, see the links to relevant pages here.