Historic investment decision for the transport of CO2

Equinor, Shell, and Total have decided to invest in the Northern Lights project in Norway’s first exploitation licence for CO₂ storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Plans for development and operation have been handed over to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

The investment decision is subject to a final investment decision by Norwegian authorities and approval from the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA).

The investment decision concludes the study phase during which the Equinor, Shell, and Total worked closely with Norwegian authorities to conduct engineering studies and project planning, drill a confirmation well, and develop the necessary agreements. Following the investment decision, the partners intend to establish a joint venture company.

The initial investments will total almost NOK 6.9bn. The project will generate much-needed jobs for the Norwegian industry, with an estimated 57% of the investment going to Norwegian contractors. 

The project will be developed in phases. Phase 1 includes the capacity to transport, inject, and store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Once the CO2 is captured onshore by industrial CO2-emitters, Northern lights will be responsible for transport by ships, injection and permanent storage some 2,500 metres below the seabed.

The CO2 receiving terminal will be located at the premises of the Naturgassparken industrial area in the municipality of Øygarden in Western Norway. The plant will be remotely operated from Equinor’s facilities at the Sture terminal in Øygarden and the subsea facilities from Oseberg A platform in the North Sea.

The facility will allow for further phases to expand capacity. Investments in subsequent phases will be triggered by market demand from large CO2 emitters across Europe.

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