Welcoming adress CCUS Forum

Minister of Petroleum and Energy held this opening speech at CCUS Forum in Oslo on 27th October 2022.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy giving his speech
Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, giving his speech at CCUS Forum Credit: Marius Gulliksrud

Check against delivery.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends from authorities, business, industry and civil society.

I would especially like to welcome those who have travelled to Norway and Oslo for these two days.

In a time with international tensions, war in Europe, unstable energy markets and climate change, I am glad we are gathered here for this important CCUS Forum.

We need to find solutions to the energy transition and sustainable ways to future growth.

CCS, carbon capture and storage, is exactly such a measure. It brings us together - for sustainable solutions, and new jobs and industries.

It is a great pleasure to host the first physical CCUS Forum together with the Commission.

I’m also very pleased that Commissioner Kadri Simson has taken the time to join the Forum.

And Kadri, I look forward to our talks on many crucial energy topics later today and not least, our visit to Vinje power plant and Norcem.

This forum is important for many reasons.

First and foremost, because it deals with one of the key tools we have to fight climate change.

It forces us to raise our gaze from the current energy crisis. Because while energy security is an urgency – we must keep up the work to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The solutions for our future, need to be prepared today - or actually yesterday.

Secondly, our forum is a place to share experiences and knowledge. As most of you know, Norway has a long history with CCS and reservoir management. Since Sleipner started capturing and storing CO2 in 1996 lessons have been learned:

We know it works. We know it’s safe. And not least, we know political decisions and the close cooperation between policy and industry provides results.

For many years, various Norwegian governments have supported technology development, testing and pilot projects.

The Longship project is built on the shoulders of these efforts. It is one of the biggest climate projects undertaken by Norwegian industry, and unique in terms of the technical and commercial model.

The construction has started at both capture sites and at the receiving terminal on the west coast.

The capture facilities will be operational by 2024 and 2026, respectively. This is no longer a desktop exercise: this is happening!

And the ambition is to share - because just as this Forum, results happen when our work crosses borders.

This brings me to the third reason why this forum is so important: it will give inspiration and input for our policy work on CCS and CCUS – both for the Commission itself and for national governments.

Helping us set priorities and work towards a common framework. Taking the next steps in our common undertaking.

The Norwegian government is glad to see such a momentum on CCS in Europe. A development we fully support.

Many potential capture projects have come forward and seek a storage for their CO2.

Northern Lights is the first potential storage partner for these companies, but more storage projects are coming.

This year, we have awarded three exploration licences to different companies. And this is important to note, because even though the first phases of Northern Lights might be “sold out” quickly, there are other alternatives being developed.

Our Petroleum Directorate estimates that more than 80 billion tonnes of CO2 can theoretically be stored on the continental shelf. We will hear more from our Petroleum Directorate later today.

This corresponds to Norway's greenhouse gas emissions for more than a thousand years.

For the times ahead, a number of issues must be addressed.

First, how to develop more storage sites, so major emitters can make their investment decisions for CO2-capture.

With knowledge and experience from over 26 years of CO2 storage, I am confident that Norway can provide attractive storage sites to industrial customers. Turning our CCS expertise and our capacity for large-scale offshore storage into a new industry.

Second, we need a market for cross-border transport of CO2 for storage.

Norway has ratified the amendment to the London Protocol and deposited a declaration of provisional application.

We encourage all Parties to the Protocol to do the same.

In addition, Norway needs bilateral agreements on issues not covered by existing EU regulation to store CO2 on our continental shelf. This is the same as for existing natural gas exports.

We are discussing such agreements with a number of interested countries.

Sharing of infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage will save time and money in the transition towards a net zero emission industrial sector in Europe.

Finally, we need to make sure that we have financial support mechanisms to help scale-up the market for CO2 capture in Europe.

While we want and need CCS to become a profitable and cost-efficient climate technology, costs are still high. We need both public funding mechanisms and other funding sources.  But only until a market is up and running and projects reach commercialization.


We all know, yet it must be repeated:CCS is a crucial part of the solution to the climate challenge.

CCS can also make an important contribution to the development of new and green industries, such as net zero cement production and hydrogen.

Norway is a first-mover in large-scale CCS in Europe.

This has paved the way for other projects to come.

By providing learning opportunities for the next projects, by creating new industrial and commercial opportunities, and by helping create a market for CO2 capture.

Now, other projects and countries must follow. In order for CCS to truly become an effective climate tool, we need more commercial players on the field, taking an active role in bringing this technology forward.

In order to get there, we need to work together.

Governments, policies, industries, international cooperation and funding matter.

To remove regulatory barriers, to facilitate cross-border transport of CO2 for permanent storage, to reach economies of scale and to create an European market for CCS.

Finally, I applaud the EU Commission for taking a clear stance on the need for carbon management and their efforts to facilitate the deployment of CCUS technologies.

Thank you for initiating this CCUS Forum and we are honored to co-host it with you. I hope that the Forum will become an operational forum, which can drive the CCS development forward.

Thank you for the attention.