Minister of Petroleum and Energy's speech at Climit Summit
Speech/statement | Date: 08/02/2023 | Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland held this speech at the Climit Summit in Larvik on 8th February 2023.
Checked against delivery.
Ladies and gentlemen,
What a pleasure to see you here in Larvik!
The Climit Summit is important for many reasons.
First, in a time where war and energy markets is – rightfully - consuming most of our attention, we should not lose sight of the most fundamental long-term challenges we face:
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time as we secure enough energy for a globally growing population.
Navigating this double challenge is at the core of the energy transition.
As we all know, although it must be repeated:
Widespread CCS at the lowest possible cost will be necessary to achieve the goals we have committed to in the Paris Agreement.
The IEA and the IPCC are also very clear: CCS is a vital part of the solution to combat climate change.
Not least, CCS will cut emissions in hard-to-abate sectors. It will both safeguard and create jobs, helping us ensure a just transition to net zero.
Second, as reducing emissions and ensuring the development of CCS is a global undertaking. I look forward to hear more about the developments in Europe and the US later on.
Let me add that the Norwegian government is pleased to see such a momentum related to CCS abroad. A development we fully support, and a development we need.
And third and last: Research and development is key in bringing CCS forward.
CCS is not a new and untested technology, especially in Norway. We have more than 25 years of experience with storing CO2 in the Sleipner and Snøhvit fields.
The Technology Centre Mongstad, TCM, offers the world’s largest and most flexible test center on an industrial scale.
Let me also highlight the important role the Climit Program has played since 2005.
During these years the program has awarded around 3,5 billion Norwegian kroner to research and innovation projects.
At this moment there are around 50 R&D projects and 58 demo-projects that are financed by the program.
Thanks to the CLIMIT-program, we have developed technologies that are now being utilized in the full-scale CCS project Longship.
At this summit, we will try to answer what lies beyond Longship.
So where do we go from here?
Longship is well underway. As the Norwegian government’s commitment to follow up the project.
Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting Northern Lights’ facility in Øygarden.
What became even clearer there, was the progress being made. Remember, in two years’ time Longship will be capturing and permanently storing CO2.
I was also delighted to hear about the growing commercial interest from companies that want to store their CO2 at Northern Lights.
European companies have shown significant interest in Longship and Northern Lights. And in August last year, the world's first commercial agreement on cross-border CO2-Transport and Storage was signed between Northern Lights and Yara in the Netherlands.
The construction of Longship is well underway. Both the capture project at the cement plant Norcem and the transport and storage development Northern Lights are more than halfway completed.
And not least, development of the project at the waste incineration facility in Oslo, Celsio, has commenced. The capture facility is planned to be completed in 2026.
Progress is being made - however, we cannot stop here. For the times ahead, a number of issues must be addressed.
First, how to offer more storage area, so capture sites can make investment decisions.
As you know, the Norwegian continental shelf is well suited for CO2 storage.
I am confident that Norway can provide attractive storage areas to industrial customers. Turning our CCS expertise and our capacity for large-scale offshore storage into a new industry. We are seeing a lot of interest from companies in areas for commercial storage projects. So far, we have awarded three licences for CO2-storage on the NCS - in addition to Northern Lights - and two more areas have been announced.
Second, we need to enable cross-border transport of CO2 for storage. Then we need bilateral agreements, as required by the London protocol. This topic is very high on our agenda!
An important task at hand is therefore to encourage countries
to ratify the 2009-amendment of the London protocol, so that we ensure predictability and a long-term framework.
We are now discussing these issues with countries in the EU. We are carefully considering which topics such bilateral agreements should entail, based on existing international law and the EU regulatory framework.
We should aim for common solutions. Sharing of infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage will save time and money in the transition towards a climate-neutral industrial sector in Europe.
Third, we need to ensure that we have financial support mechanisms to help scale-up the market for CO2 capture in Europe.
While we both want and need CCS to become a profitable and cost-efficient climate technology, costs are still high. Therefore, we need both public funding mechanisms and other funding sources to support the development.
And not least, and perhaps the main reason to why we are gathered here at the Climit Summit.
We must continue to support technological development, testing and pilot projects, as it will lead to cost reductions and pave the way for commercially attractive CCS projects later on.
Longship has had a promising departure and voyage so far– but we have not reached the point of destination yet.
If carbon capture and storage is to become an efficient climate policy instrument, subsequent facilities must be established in Europe and globally – and it must be done now.
The critical mass of CCS needs to be achieved within this decade and we need more players on the field – more Longships in the water.
To remove regulatory barriers, to facilitate transboundary transport of CO2 for permanent storage, to reach economies of scale, to create an European market for CCS, and not least, to continue our research and innovation effort to speed up the development of new and more cost efficient technologies and solutions.
Thank you so much for your attention!