The Northern Lights project
Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies are investing in the Northern Lights project — Norway’s first licence for CO₂ storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and a major part of the initiative that the Norwegian government calls Longship. Carbon capture and storage will play a major role in the Norwegian climate solution.
Northern Lights news
- 29 August 2022: Important step to decarbonise Europe
- 5 April 2022: Equinor awarded the Smeaheia and Polaris CO2 licenses
- 9 March 2021: Northern Lights launches company dedicated to CO2 transport and storage
- 19 October 2020: Sharing data from Northern Lights well
- 14 October 2020: Equinor to collaborate with Microsoft on Northern Lights
- 15 May 2020: Historic investment decision for transport and storage of CO2
Part of the “Longship” full-scale CCS project in Norway
Our ambitions for Northern Lights
The Northern Lights CCS project off the coast of Norway, which will begin operation by 2024, has enough storage for the equivalent of 750,000 car emissions every year in the first phase. Equinor’s Smeaheia storage site, located to the south of Northern Lights, has the potential to increase storage capacity many times over.
In 2022, Northern Lights secured the world’s first commercial agreement on cross border CO2 transport and storage with fertilizer company Yara International. This was a milestone for the decarbonization of European heavy industry, opening for cross border CO2 transport and storage as a service.
Equinor is already one of the largest CCS operators worldwide. We have ambitions to develop further storage licenses in the North Sea with the aim to build a common, pipeline-based infrastructure that can contribute to substantial cost reductions for CCS value chains.
Equinor’s ambition for CO2 transport and storage is to capture 25 percent of the European market by 2035 as a trusted partner in the decarbonization of industry and energy.
Prime Minister opens Northern Lights visitor centre
Facts and figures
- The Northern Lights project is part of the Norwegian full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. The full-scale project will include capture of CO2 from one or two industrial capture sources. The Northern Lights project comprises transportation, receipt and permanent storage of CO₂ in a reservoir in the northern North Sea.
- Phase 1 includes capacity to transport, inject and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Once the CO2 is captured onshore, it will be transported by ship to the receiving terminal in Øygarden, pumped via pipeline to a subsea structure at the seabed and injected into a geological formation some 2,500 metres below the seabed in the North Sea for permanent storage.
The facilities are scheduled to be operational in 2024.
- The CO2 receiving terminal will be located at the premises of Energiparken industrial area in the municipality of Øygarden in Western Norway.
- The plant will be operated from Equinor’s facilities at the Sture terminal in Øygarden and the subsea facilities from Oseberg A platform in the North Sea.
Storage and location
- Exploitation licence EL001 "Aurora" was awarded in January 2019.
- Storage is located 2,500 metres below the seabed, south of the Troll field.
- In March 2020 the Eos confirmation well was drilled. The well will be used for injection and storage of CO2.
Northern Lights background
The Northern Lights project is a result of the Norwegian government’s ambition to develop a full-scale CCS value chain in Norway by 2024.
As part of this ambition, the government issued feasibility studies on capture, transport and storage solutions in 2016. Combined, these studies confirmed the feasibility of realising a full-scale CCS project, and based on this outcome, the government decided to continue the development of the preferred concepts through a study agreement covering concept and FEED (front-end engineering and design) studies. Gassnova represents the Norwegian state and acts as the coordinating body.
Gassnova represents the Norwegian state and acts as the coordinating body. The studies cover:
- Capture of CO2 at the waste-to-energy plant Fortum Oslo Varme in Oslo.
- Capture of CO2 at the Norcem (Heidelberg Group) cement factory in Brevik.
- The combined transport and storage solution, governed by the collaboration agreement between Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies in the Northern Lights Project.