What is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)?

Why do we need CCS? In order to prevent global warming, –greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and UN's climate panel have identified carbon capture and storage (CCS) as an important mitigation option.

CO2 -capture

CO2 can be captured from flue gases from power plants and  from industrial processes. Several technologies for capturing CO2 from flue gas exist. Some of them are tested at the Technology center for CO2-capture at Mongstad/Norway ( TCM). The world's first plant for CO2-capture from a coal power plant was opened in Canada in October 2014. More information on CO2-capture is available on the website of Gassnova, the Norwegian state enterprise in charge of CCS.

CO2 -transport

CO2 can be transported by truck, pipeline or ship. Transport by truck is most suited for transporting smaller amounts of CO2. For medium amounts  or for long-distances, ships are probably preferable. Pipelines can be best for transporting big volumes of CO2 over shorter distances. Transport of CO2 is comparable to the transport of oil and gas.

CO2 -storage

CO2 can be stored in geological formations onshore or offshore.

In Norway, CO2 has been separated from the gas stream at the Sleipner field for 20 years and stored in a gelogical formation deep below the seabed. Up to 1 million tons CO2 from Sleipner have been stored each year.

Studies have shown that  the best place to store CO2 in Norway is offshore in geological formations beneath the seabed.

To prevent seepage, the storage reservoir needs a sealing cap which stops the CO2. If the storage resovoir is more than 800 metres beneath the seabed, the CO2 will be compressed due to pressure and temperature and occupy a minimum of space. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has published a storage atlas which shows possible CO2-storage sites covering the entire Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Why has Norway such a strong commitment to CCS?

The Norwegian government has a broad approach to mitigating climate change. We want to contribute to solution with global effects. Financial instruments, such as CO2-taxes and an emission trading system, combined with funding for technology development and demonstration are central elements of the Norwegian climate policy. That is  why we are committed to developing and demonstrating CCS technologies which can be shared globally.

Challenges to global dissemination are the complexity and the cost of CCS project. The technology has to be developed further and become less expensive to make the technology commercially attractive.

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