OPINION: Carbon capture and storage (CCS) came out as one clear winner at the ONS 2022 conference in Stavanger, Norway, this past week.

As the Norwegian summit returned live after a Covid-19 induced hiatus, the energy industry reconvened at a time of profound crisis, with energy supply crunches sending gas and power prices to record highs and warnings of more doom to come this winter, to the tune of double-digit inflation and a probable recession.

Against this backdrop, energy security has become the ubiquitous political mantra, drawing concerns that efforts on climate change mitigation and transitioning to a low-carbon economy are taking a backseat.

Nevertheless, CCS — a nascent but critical building block of the energy transition — recorded significant steps forward at ONS.

The Northern Lights project — a joint venture between France’s TotalEnergies, Equinor of Norway and UK-headquartered Shell — struck a landmark deal for the commercial transportation of carbon dioxide across state borders for long-term storage under the seabed.

It is the first agreement of its kind, opening up international trade links to move carbon from clients to storage.

Equinor and Germany’s Wintershall Dea announced an ambitious CCS plan that will include a 900-kilomtere pipeline connecting northern Germany to storage sites on the Norwegian continental shelf.

These investments are crucial to set up the infrastructure needed for carbon capture operations to kick in at scale and seriously contribute to cutting European emissions.

The industry appears ready to put the money where their mouth is, at least on CCS. As Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden put it to ONS attendees: “We are ready to take the risk.”

(This is an Upstream opinion article.)