The Government’s carbon capture and storage strategy

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The Norwegian government has developed a strategy for CCS, which aims at identifying measures to promote technology development and to reduce the costs of CCS. A feasibility study report presented in July 2016 shows that realising a full-scale CCS chain in Norway by 2022 is possible and at lower costs than for projects considered in Norway earlier.

Climate change and the increasing global demand for energy are the background for the government's CCS-policies. The need for CCS is amply documented by the UN's climate panel (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). To reach the CCS-objectives the technology has to develop further and become cheaper.

Broad commitment to CCS

The government's CCS-policies span across a broad range of measures including research, development and demonstration, realising a full-scale CCS-facility, transport, storage and alternative use of CO2 and international co-operation for promoting CCS.

Technology Center Mongstad (TCM)

Technology Center Mongstad bridges a gap in the technology chain by enabling testing capture technologies on an industrial scale. It's important to bridge this gap in order to gain more experience and knowledge and to be able to ensure that new capture technologies will work in a satisfying way also in full scale.

Research and technology development

The government will continue to focus on R&D. Part of the CCS-strategy is further support to CLIMIT, the Norwegian research centers for climate-friendly energy (FME) and international research activities:

  • CLIMIT is a national programme for research, development and demonstration of CCS-technologies for both power plants and industry. The programme covers the whole chain from basic research to innovation projects and demonstration of CCS-technology. CLIMIT has already delivered results of importance for CCS both in Norway and internationally.
  • The Norwegian government's international policies on supporting CCS as an important climate policy-tool is broad: Measures include the support for an ambitious international climate agreement, a global price on climate emissions and good rules for transport and storage of CO2. Furthermore, Norway supports international knowledge sharing and CCS-policies in developping and emerging countries as well as alternative uses of CO2.

Large scale CCS- demonstration facility

Realising a full-scale demonstration facility for CCS in Norway is challenging, not least as there are few big and suitable single sources of emission.

The possibilities for full scale CCS in Norway has been mapped in a feasibility study presented on 4 July 2016. The aim of the feasibility study is to identify at least one technically feasible CCS chain with corresponding cost estimates. Such a chain includes capture, transport and storage of CO2. The results show that it is technically feasible to realise several alternatives in Norway, at a lower cost than for projects considered in Norway earlier. The Government will present further plans for CCS in the state budget for 2017.

The Norwegian projects Sleipner and Snøhvit are Europe's only big scale CCS-projects in operation. At Sleipner and Snøhvit CO2 is separated from natural gas before the latter is sent to customers. Compared to this, capturing CO2 from power stations or industrial plants is more complicated and expensive.

CO2 storage

The Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) is suited for CO2-storage and already used to this end for CO2 from the gas fields Gudrun, Sleipner, Snøhvit. Norway has thus gained considerable experience on storing CO2 in geological formations. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's CO2 storage atlas for the NCS shows several possible storage sites.

Transport and storage solutions for a potential full-scale demonstration project in Norway will be evaluated based on the needs for such a project. At the same time it's advantageous if a storage site provides for the storing of additional quantities of CO2. In case Europe wants to capture and store big quantities of CO2, Norway will evaluate co-operation with other countries on a storage site in the North Sea. Further studies on transport and storage solutions will include the evaluation of technological, legal and economic conditions.