Norway Announces Three Areas Related to CO2-Storage

Norway Announces Three Areas Related to CO2-Storage
Illustration of CO2-storage. (Image credit: NOD)

Norway’s Ministry of Energy announces three areas in the North Sea for companies to apply for exploration license’s related to CO2-storage on the Norwegian continental shelf.

‘I am pleased to see the significant interest from companies wishing to explore the possibility of offering emitters in Europe profitable, large-scale CO2 storage as a service. The government will facilitate that CO2-storage can become a new ocean industry for Norway by safely and securely storing large amounts of CO2 that otherwise would be emitted in Europe’, said Minister of Energy Terje Aasland.

Succeeding with large-scale CO2-storage is important for the world to reach its climate goals. Such solutions are important to the Norwegian government, and such activity will have the potential to create new and valuable jobs in Norway.

Awards of such areas is a prerequisite for large-scale carbon capture and storage. Several commercial companies have made inquiries to the ministry with desire regarding awards of one or more specific storage areas. These inquiries form the basis for the areas now being announced.

Announcement and possible allocation of area for a storage permit will take place after individual application. The permitting process is initiated by companies by applying for permits according to the storage regulations, after having established that they have a sufficiently good basis for applying.

The application deadline is August 29th, 2024, at 12:00 p.m.

Full announcement text and further information (updated map, coordinates of announced areas, HSE, environmental and fishery conditions etc.) are available on the Norwegian Offshore Directorate's website.

Background

Activities aimed at surveying and exploring for subsea reservoirs for the storage of CO2, as well as exploitation, transport, and storage of CO2 in such reservoirs on the Norwegian continental shelf are subject to the regulations on transportation and storage of CO2 into subsea reservoirs on the continental shelf (regulation 5th December 2014 no. 1517).

Anyone who is conducting such storage operations needs a permit in accordance with the regulations. In addition, on February 20th, 2020, the Petroleum Safety Authority established regulations on safety and the working environment for the transport and storage of CO2 on the continental shelf (the CO2 safety regulations).

The Norwegian government are facilitating the socio-economically profitable storage of CO2 on the Norwegian continental shelf. Companies that have the necessary expertise and that have specific, industrial plans that entail a need for storage on a commercial basis can apply to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for a license adapted to the needs of the business. The government will conduct a predictable, efficient, and flexible process to award industrial players access to relevant storage options. Areas that are relevant for awards will be announced, among other things, to ensure competition.

In line with the regulations on transportation and storage of CO2 into subsea reservoirs on the continental shelf, the ministry normally expects to award an exploration license prior to awarding an exploitation license in a relevant area. Exploration licenses can be awarded to one or more competent companies. If a license is awarded to several companies, the ministry will, generally, appoint one of the companies as operator.

The award of exploration licenses will normally be done with a work program including one binding phase and subsequent conditional phases with decision points for the continuation or relinquishment. Relinquishing allows other stakeholders with storage needs to apply for awards of the area. The work program will normally end with a demand that the companies make an investment decision on the realization of CO2 a storage, and that they then submit a plan for development and operation (PUD) for the storage location or relinquish of the area.

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