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Smeaheia — bringing large scale CO2 storage to European industry

Smeaheia can be a game-changer for CO2 transport and storage in Northwestern Europe. The project will connect European customers with the massive CO2 storage site in the North Sea via the CO2 Highway Europe pipeline.

Click here to contact the Smeaheia project

30 — 50 million tonnes

capacity for CO2 transport and storage by 2035, Equinor

2 transport concepts

being evaluated, including ships and pipelines

~20 Mtpa

(metric tonnes per annum) injection capacity

Smeaheia map.

Essential for Europe to meet its climate goals

Our ambition with Smeaheia is to develop transport and storage solutions for up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which would entail a major increase in commercial CCS capacity on a global scale.

Developing CO2 transport and storage at speed and scale is essential for Europe to reach its climate goals.

Smeaheia is a CO2 transport and storage project intended to develop the Smeaheia licence for CO2 storage, linking large-scale CO2 transport solutions from Northwestern Europe to the massive storage site in the North Sea.

What is CCS and why do we need it?

Facts about Smeaheia

The licence is 100 percent operated by Equinor and covers a large area east of the Troll field off the west coast of Norway.
The seabed off the coast of Norway is well suited to storing CO2, and we can potentially store the equivalent of 1000 years of Norwegian emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Our ambition is to develop value chains for CO2 transport and storage with an annual capacity of 30—50 million tonnes of CO2 (Equinor share) by 2035.

25 years

Equinor experience in CCS operations

1000 years

The NCS has the potential to store the equivalent of 1000 years of Norwegian CO2 emissions

100% operated

by Equinor

A leading province for CO2 storage in Europe

The project is an important building block for developing the Norwegian continental shelf into a leading province for CO2 storage in Europe.

The reservoirs can store CO2 from large-scale emitters in Europe as well as potential low carbon solution projects in Norway, such as Clean Hydrogen to Europe (CHE).

The project aims to develop a minimum of 5 Mtpa injection capacity for the initial start-up phase, aiming to be operational by 2028.

The transport concepts being considered are a pipeline from Northwestern Europe to Smeaheia, and a ship transport solution with an onshore receiving terminal on the west coast of Norway — with an additional CO2 pipeline connected to wells at Smeaheia.

Storage and pipeline solutions being considered

Two main transport concepts, including CO2 ship transport and pipelines, are being matured in parallel, both connected to Smeaheia storage development.

These are the two concepts:

1) Norwegian Hub: a CO2 ship transport solution with an onshore receiving terminal on the west coast of Norway with a CO2 pipeline connected to wells at Smeaheia.

2) CO2 Highway Europe: a CO2 pipeline from North-West Europe connected to wells at Smeaheia and additional storage opportunities as they are matured.

The European CO2 pipeline can reduce cost of transport by more than 50 % compared to ship-based solutions. Other benefits include a higher operational consistency and reduced lifecycle emissions.

CO2 Highway Europe — bringing scale

Equinor ambition: 30—50 million tonnes per annum capacity for CO2 transport and storage by 2035. The CO2 pipeline from North-West Europe — connected to wells at Smeaheia and additional storage opportunities as they are matured – is scheduled to come onstream by 2030.

Building on Northern Lights and over 25 years of CO2 storage in the North Sea.

Photo: Einar Aslaksen

Decades of CCS experience

Equinor has been developing groundbreaking CCS solutions since 1996, including Sleipner, Snøhvit, Technology Centre Mongstad, Northern Lights, Northern Endurance Partnership and now Smeaheia.

We are the pioneers of industrial CCS with over 25 years of operational experience across several projects in the North Sea region. Building on what we learned from our Sleipner and Snøhvit CCS sites, Equinor is developing more international collaborative projects like Northern Lights and CO₂ highway Europe in Norway and the Northern Endurance Partnership off the coast of the United Kingdom.

Equinor has ambitions to develop further storage licences in the North Sea in the coming years with the aim of building a common, pipeline-based infrastructure that can contribute to substantial cost reductions for the CCS value chains.

Safe capture and storage of CO2 is a prerequisite and enabler for developing blue hydrogen and ammonia from natural gas. With CCS, blue hydrogen and ammonia can more or less eliminate emissions from the use of natural gas, thus ensuring access to large amounts of low-carbon and reliable energy. With the use of CCS, emissions can also be significantly reduced from gas-fired power plants.

The seismic vessel Ramform Vanguard
The seismic vessel PGS Ramform Vanguard. Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland

The Smeaheia reservoir is well surveyed

Smeaheia contains multiple reservoir levels that can be utilized for CO2 injection and storage.

The reservoirs currently being targeted for CO2 injection are in the Jurassic Viking and Dunlin Groups. We intend to acquire more data from these reservoirs through the drilling of two appraisal wells in 2024.

One of the first things we did immediately after being awarded the Smeaheia licence was to acquire a new 3D seismic dataset. The data is currently being analysed and will provide important input for further subsurface studies and modelling.

Industrial collaboration paving the way

Strategic partnerships are being developed with European players to ensure CO2 infrastructure and export terminals are developed along a common timeline, including Fluxys in Belgium and Wintershall DEA in Germany.

Grete Tveit, Equinor’s senior vice president for Low Carbon Solutions, and Pascal De Buck, CEO Fluxys.

Broad European CCS collaboration through Projects of Common Interest (PCI)

Collaboration between industries, governments and organisations is crucial to succeed, and the EU2NSEA project is very important to pave the way for European CCS deployment at scale.

The EU2NSEA project aims at developing a scalable pipeline-based system enabling the transport and storage of CO2 from North-West Europe to the North Sea.

As such, the EU PCI application unites the CCS value chain from North Europe Emissions to North Sea Storage transport and storage networks at European scale.

It includes 16 emitters in 10 countries, 31 capture sites, and storage of around 34 million tonnes of CO2 per year at two storage sites in the North Sea.

The EU2NSEA project of common interest includes:

  • Transport pipeline solution
  • Connecting industrial CO2 emitters in 8 EU member states with storage sites in the North Sea
  • Five CO2 collection hubs and two CO2 trans-shipment hubs in first set-up
  • Several dedicated pipelines crossing the North Sea basin
  • Arriving to the Smeaheia and Luna storage sites