The Norwegian government has released two new areas for the potential injection and storage of carbon dioxide on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The government confirmed last week the two areas had been open for applications following approaches from several unnamed industry players which considered those specific areas as “interesting” for CO2 storage.

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One of the areas is located in the North Sea, while the second is located in the Barents Sea and applications for both areas will close on 9 December.

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum & Energy, Tina Bru, said the interest shown in CO2 storage by industry proved there was potential for a new and important industry on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“Capture and storage of CO2 is an area where Norway has a unique opportunity to really make a difference on the way to a global low-emission society,” she said.

“Norway has unique experience and expertise from the Sleipner and Snohvit fields and not least the test centre at Mongstad. We are building on this through the Longship project. With this announcement, we are facilitating more Norwegian projects for CO2 management.”

CCS experience

Norway has a long track record with carbon capture and storage (CCS), with the offshore Sleipner CCS project claimed to be the longest ongoing CO2 storage project in the world, having started up in 1996 and capable of storing roughly 1 million tonnes per annum of CO2.

The Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) in Hordaland county is also claimed to be the world’s largest test centre for developing CO2 capture technologies.

The TCM started operations in 2013 and is owned and operated by Gassnova with a 73.9%, and Equinor, Shell and Sasol each with 8.7%.

Norway has also had regulations in place for activities aimed at the exploration for subsea reservoirs for CO2 storage, as well as utilisation, transport and storage of CO2 in such reservoirs, since 2014.

Companies wanting to engage in CCS projects on the Norwegian continental shelf require a permit in accordance with the CO2 Storage Regulations.

Upon allocation of a permit, the government will set conditions for the implementation of a specific work programme adapted to the specific area.