How can Switzerland and Norway cooperate on CCS?

Minister of Petroleum and Energy held this speech at a stakeholder event with participants from Norway and Switzerland in Oslo 25th November2022.

Minister of Petroleum and Energy giving his speach at the stakeholder event.
Minister of Petroleum and Energy giving his speach at the stakeholder event. Foto: Stine Grimsrud / OED

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Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends from governments, research institutions and industry,

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

And a warm welcome to all of you out there in cyberspace.
In a time with increased international tensions, I am glad we are gathered here for this CCS stakeholder event.

I am particularly happy to see the great interest from Swiss stakeholders and I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s roundtable discussions.

We experience a growing interest in CCS from policy makers, public authorities, industry, civil society and academia.

Norway sees CCS as a crucial part of the solution to the climate challenge. It is the only way to reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors. It will also make an important contribution to the development of new and green industries, such as hydrogen.

 Norway has a long history with CCS and reservoir management. Since the Sleipner gas field 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!

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 in the beginning of November, we announced another area for CO2-storage. 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.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates that more than 80 billion tonnes of CO2 can theoretically be stored on the continental shelf.

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

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. Both Switzerland and Norway see CO2 management as one pathway to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular in hard-to-abate industries.

Switzerland and Norway have established a strong cooperation on CDR- and CCS-related topics. Our administrations have regular meetings and are currently discussing a bilateral agreement, which is required to export/import CO2 across borders.

My sincere hope is that this stakeholder event will be a fruitful platform for discussion and exchange of experiences and knowledge, and that we will leave with new ideas and practical take-aways.

Thank you for your attention!