The interest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has also been driven by rising EU carbon permit costs and the need to decarbonize industries such as cement production, which have few or no alternatives.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) considers CCS to be a vital technology to achieve global climate goals, but it needs to be scaled up quickly to have an impact.
Here are some CO2 storage projects planned or under development in Europe:
* Northern Lights, a joint venture project by Equinor, TotalEnergies and Shell , plans to start injecting up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of CO2 into saline aquifer near the Troll gas field in 2024. There are plans to increase storage capacity to over 5 mtpa from 2026, pending demand. The project, which calls itself “the world’s first open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure”, plans to import CO2 from the Netherlands and Denmark in addition to local sources.
* Smeaheia, a project by Equinor to develop a storage site in the North Sea, with a potential to inject up to 20 mtpa from 2027-2028. Equinor said it was looking at injecting the CO2 captured from its own hydrogen production, as well as some industrial customers in Europe. The company aims to make the final investment decision in 2025.
* Luna, a project led by German Wintershall Dea [RIC:RIC:WINT.UL], to store up to 5 mtpa of CO2 at a site some 120km west of Bergen. Wintershall Dea and its Norwegian partner, Cape Omega, were awarded an exploration licence in October. Wintershall Dea has 60% stake and Norway’s Cape Omega the remaining 40% in the licence.
* Havstjerne is a second project led by Wintershall Dea in the North Sea, in partnership with offshore service provider Altera Infrastructure Group Ltd, to explore a CO2 storage with potential capacity to inject 7 mtpa. The project envisions injecting CO2 transported by shuttle tankers from multiple collection hubs across Europe.
* Trudvang, a joint project by Sval Energi, Storegga and Neptune Energi to develop a storage site east of the Sleipner gas field in the North Sea with a capacity to inject about 9 mtpa of CO2 from 2029. Sval is the proposed operator with 40% ownership, while Storegga and Neptune each have 30%.
* Poseidon, an Aker BP-led project to explore for a CO2 storage in the North Sea with potential capacity to inject more than 5 mtpa. Aker BP, Norway’s second-largest listed oil and gas firm, has a 60% stake and Austria’s OMV has a 40% stake. The site could potentially store emissions from OMV’s majority-owned Austrian plastics group Borealis (BESGR.UL).
The British government has pledged to invest 20 billion pounds ($25.50 billion) over the next 20 years in projects to capture, utilize and store carbon dioxide, as part of its plan to meet climate goals. By 2030, it aims to capture and store 20-30 mtpa of CO2.
* HyNet North West project aims to convert gas and fuel gas from the Stanlow refinery in Cheshire into low-carbon hydrogen, capturing and transferring the CO2 produced during the process by pipelines to offshore storage in the Liverpool Bay. Italian energy group Eni will operate a CO2 pipeline and an offshore storage at a depleted gas field. Operations are expected to start in 2025, initially injecting about 4.5 mtpa of CO2 into the storage, and increasing the volume to 10 mtpa by 2030.
* Northern Endurance, a BP-led partnership, aims to develop infrastructure to transport and store CO2 captured at industrial site in Humber and Teesside under the seabed in the southern North Sea. The project could potentially transport and store up to 27 mtpa by 2030, with the first injections expected to start in 2027. The project includes BP, Equinor and TotalEnergies. Two previous partners, Notional Grid and Shell left the project in April 2023 to focus on other activities.
* Acorn CCS, the project operated by Storegga, aims to develop a CO2 storage site off the coast of Scotland, with a capacity to inject 5-10 mtpa of CO2 by 2030. Storegga, Harbour Energy and Shell have 30% each in the project, while North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP) hold the remaining 10%.
* Viking CCS, a project led by Harbour Energy, aims to store up to 10 mtpa of CO2 by 2030 at the depleted Viking gas fields in the southern North Sea. It plans to start injecting CO2 in 2027, initially at a rate of 2 mtpa of CO2, ramping up to 10 mtpa by 2030 and 15 mtpa by 2035. Harbour holds 60% stake while BP (BP.L) has 40%.
* Camelot, a project by Synergia Energy and Wintershall Dea to explore a potential to store up to 6 mtpa the Southern North Sea from 2030, if confirmed by drilling. The license covers a group of depleted gas fields and an overlying saline aquifer. Synergia Energy will operate the project in the appraisal phase.
* Porthos, a project by the port of Rotterdam, Gasunie and EBN, aims to store 2.5 mtpa of CO2 in depleted Dutch gas fields in the North Sea. All storage capacity has been already contracted by 4 industrial partners: Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell.
The project planned to start CO2 injections in 2024-2025, but a legal dispute has delayed startup until 2026. The Netherlands’ highest court ruled on Aug. 16 that the project can go ahead.
* L10, a project led by Neptune Energy, to store 4-5 mtpa of CO2 in depleted gas fields in the Dutch North Sea.
Other project partners are ExxonMobil, Rosewood Exploration and state-owned EBN. They partners plan to apply for a storage licence in March, with the first CO2 injections seen in 2027-2028, later than previously planned 2026.
* Greensand, a pilot project led by INEOS Energy and Wintershall Dea, each with 40% stake, to demonstrate that CO2 can be stored in the Nini West field, a depleted oil reservoir in the Danish North Sea. The Danish state will have the remaining 20% via Nordsofonden.
The project aims to start injecting initially up to 1.5 mtpa of CO2 from the end of 2025, increasing capacity to 8 mtpa by 2030. Wintershall Dea hopes that it could also attract interest from potential customers in Germany.
* Bifrost, a project led by TotalEnergies, aims to inject up to 3 mtpa of CO2 into depleted Harald gas fields in the Danish North Sea from 2027, and increase capacity to more than 10 mtpa by 2030. The project also involves Orsted, which operates offshore pipelines, and the Technical University of Denmark. In February, Denmark awarded TotalEnergies two CO2 storage licences including the Harald area.
Several German companies are looking at the possibility of exporting CO2 captured at industrial plants to offshore storage sites developed by others in the North Sea, but the government still needs to change the laws to remove legal obstacles for doing so.
* Wilhelmshaven CO2 export terminal, a project led by Wintershall Dea (WINT.UL) to build a CO2 liquefaction and temporary storage facility at Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s only deep-water port, and then to ship or pipe CO2 to permanent storage sites in the North Sea. It aims to initially handle about 1 mtpa of CO2 from 2026.
Equinor and Wintershall DEA also eye the construction of a 900-km (560-mile) long pipeline to transport CO2 from northern Germany to storage sites offshore Norway before 2032.
* ANRAV, a project led by private Irish energy company Petroceltic, will link CO2 capture facilities at HeidelbergCement’s Devnya cement plant in north-eastern Bulgaria with offshore permanent storage in the depleted Black Sea gas field of Galata.
Expected to start operations in 2028, it will have a capacity of 800,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.
* PYCASSO, a project capturing carbon from industries in the southwest of France and north of Spain to be stored in a depleted gas field in Aquitaine. It is planned to transport about 1 mtpa of CO2 by 2030.
* The Coda Terminal will be a cross-border carbon transport and storage hub in Straumsvík, operated by Icelandic carbon storage firm Carbfix.
CO2 captured from industrial firms will be shipped to the terminal to be dissolved in water before being injected into basalt bedrock. The operations, scaled up in steps, are set to reach up to 3 mtpa of CO2 from 2031.
* The Silverstone project, coordinated by Carbfix, will deploy commercial-scale CO2 capture, dissolve CO2 in water and inject it into underground basalt rock for mineral storage in the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, near Mount Hengill.
Silverstone will capture and store about 25,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. It is expected to start up in the first quarter of 2025.
* CCS Ravenna Hub, led by energy company ENI, is a project to capture CO2 and transport it to offshore depleted gas reservoirs off the coast of Ravenna in the Adriatic Sea.
The first phase is scheduled in 2023. The full capture, transport and storage chain will handle up to 100,000 mtpa of CO2.
* The Cork CCS project aims to store carbon captured from Irish industrial facilities in a depleted gas field in the Celtic Sea, potentially re-using an existing pipeline for transport. The project is lead by utility Ervia.
* Slite CCS, a CCS project led by HeidelbergCement and its Swedish subsidiary Cementa, at its Slite cement plant on the Swedish island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea.
It aims to capture up to 1.8 mtpa of CO2, about 3% of the country’s total emissions, and store those at several sites under development in the North Sea.
($1 = 0.7843 pounds)