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CCS: Carbon capture and storage — making net zero possible

Workers at our Northern Lights project. Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland
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Why is CCS needed to reach climate goals?

Climate change is a global challenge. It affects every single country in the world. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement will require enormous reductions in global CO2 emissions.

The magnitude of the challenge and the need for speed means that renewable energy technologies alone will not bring us on a path consistent with climate targets. They will need to be complemented by low-carbon technologies, and many other measures as well.

CCS, which captures CO2 where it's emitted and stores it safely and permanently underground, is one of those important tools to putting the world on a more sustainable path than we currently see.

Capture

CO2 is captured at the emission source: power, industry, waste

Transport

CO2 is transported by ship or pipeline to the injection facility

Storage

CO2 is injected and stored safely at depths typically >1km

Sleipner

Did you know?

Equinor is building on nearly 30 years of successful CO2 storage offshore in Norway. We are already one of the largest CCS operators worldwide, and we have ambitions to develop further storage licences on the Norwegian continental shelf. We aim to build a pipeline-based infrastructure that can contribute to substantial cost reductions for CCS value chains.

>25 years

We have been developing and using
CCS technology for more than 25 years

>1000 metres

CO2 is injected and stored safely
more than 1000 metres beneath the seabed

1000 years of carbon

The equivalent of 1000 years of Norwegian CO2 emissions could potentially be stored on the NCS.

Could a pipeline from Europe to Norway help solve European industry’s climate problem?

In the rocks far beneath the seabed of the North Sea, conditions are perfect for storing the CO2 that Norway and Europe need to prevent from reaching the atmosphere. Plans are now being made for a pipeline that can transport CO2 from Europe to Norway.

Can we send the CO2 back where it came from?

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Can we send the CO2 back where it came from? Learn more in this video about how CCS works.

We’re storing carbon safely and permanently beneath the seabed

CO2 is separated from natural gas or chemical process streams, exhaust gases or even air, and is subsequently permanently stored.

The captured CO2 is compressed, liquefied and pumped deep down into the subsurface to isolate the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

To decarbonise industries and the energy system in general it is necessary to take in all available technologies, including renewables, clean hydrogen and CCS. While some sectors are easier to decarbonise, others are more complex.

The gap between what it costs to emit CO2 and what it costs to implement CCS is closing as the cost of emitting CO2 increases, hence improving the economic rationale for CCS.

Our CCS ambitions and portfolio (brochure, Sept. 2023) (PDF)

Our CO2 storage experience

1996
First dedicated CO2 storage at the Sleipner field off the Norwegian coast. Operated by Equinor.

2008
Second industrial-scale CO2 storage in Europe at Snøhvit Field, offshore Norway. Operated by Equinor.

2020
26 commercial CO2 storage facilities in operation globally with a total capacity of around 40 million tonnes per year (GCCSI, 2020)

  • Equinor is already one of the largest CCS operators worldwide.
  • 25 years of experience of offshore CO2 storage in the Sleipner field and 13 years in the Snøhvit field in Norway.
  • Onshore CO2 storage experience from In-Salah, Algeria
  • Operating the technology center Mongstad since 2012, the world’s largest and most flexible plant for testing and improving technologies for CO2 capture.
     

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.

In August 2023, Equinor acquired a 25 percent interest in Bayou Bend CCS LLC, positioned to be one of the largest US carbon capture and storage projects located along the Gulf Coast in Southeast Texas.

CO2 will be stored 2.5 km beneath the sea bed, permanently and safely

Northern Lights will have an initial storage capacity of 1.5 million tonnes CO2 annually.

Northern Lights

The Longship and Northern Lights projects

The Northern Lights project is part of the Norwegian full-scale CCS project called Longship which will capture CO2 from industrial sources, transport it by ship to the west of Norway, and via a pipeline to a subsea location offshore in the North Sea for permanent storage.

Smeaheia CCS

Equinor has been awarded the operatorship for the development of the CO2 storage facility Smeaheia in the North Sea. The licence is an important building block for developing the Norwegian continental shelf into a leading province for CO2 storage in Europe.

Sleipner Vest

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. Since 1996, the captured CO2 has been stored in a saline formation 1 km below the seabed.

Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM)

Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) is the world’s largest test facility for CO2 capture technologies, located at one of Norway’s largest industrial facilities, Mongstad in Hordaland county. The knowledge acquired from the TCM facility will be an important contributor towards the development of carbon capture technology.

Other CCS projects

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.

Take a deep dive into CCS: frequently asked questions

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.