Award of two new licences for CO2 storage on the Norwegian continental shelf

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Today the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy publishes offers for two new exploration licences related to CO2 storage under the storage regulations on the Norwegian continental shelf in the North Sea.

— The establishment of commercial capture and storage of CO2 is imporant for the world to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. The award of these two new licences contributes Norway to play an important role when it comes to establishing commercial, large-scale CO2 storage for European emission sources, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.

The two exploration licences that have been offered are located in the southern part of the North Sea. The eastern licence is offered to a group consisting of Aker BP ASA and OMV (Norge) AS. The north-west licence is offered to a group consisting of Wintershall Dea Norge AS and Altera Infrastructure Group through its subsidiary Stella Maris CCS AS.

— The award is made to two applicationgroups that have matured good plans for the storage of CO2. These projects will be able to help build up a new, commercial Norwegian marine industry, says Aasland.

The licences are offered with a binding work program with installed mileposts that ensure fast and efficient progress, or the return of the areas if the licences do not carry out the storage project.

More information, maps and work program on the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s website.


Activities aimed at surveying and exploring for subsea reservoirs for the storage of CO2, as well as exploitation, transport, and storage of CO2 in such reservoirs on the Norwegian continental shelf are subject to the regulations on transportation and storage of CO2 into subsea reservoirs on the continental shelf (regulation 5th December 2014 no. 1517).

Anyone who is conducting such storage operations needs a permit in accordance with the regulations. In addition, on February 20th 2020, the Petroleum Safety Authority established regulations on safety and the working environment for the transport and storage of CO2 on the continental shelf (the CO2 safety regulations)

The Norwegian government are facilitating the socio-economically profitable storage of CO2 on the Norwegian continental shelf. Companies that have the necessary expertise and that have specific, industrial plans that entail a need for storage on a commercial basis can apply to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for a licence adaptet to the needs of the business. The government will conduct a predictable, efficient, and flexible process to award industrial players access to relevant storage options. Areas that are relevant for awards will be announced, among other things, to ensure competition


In line with the regulations on transportation and storage of CO2 into subsea reservoirs on the continental shelf, the ministry normally expects to award an exploration licence prior to awarding an exploitation licence in a relevant area. Exploration licences can be awarded to one or more competent companies. If a licence is awarded to several companies, the ministry will, generally, appoint one of the companies as operator.

The award of exploration licences will normally be done with a work program including one binding phase and subsequent conditional phases with decision points for the continuation or relinquishment. Relinquishing allows other stakeholders with storage needs to apply for awards of the area. The work program will normally end with a demand that the companies make an investmentdecision on the realization of CO2 a storage, and that they then submit a plan for development and operation (PUD) for the storage location or relinquish of the area.