OSLO (Reuters) - Norway on Thursday invited companies to submit bids to use subsea reservoirs to store carbon dioxide near the country’s largest oil and gas field, Troll.
The Nordic country aims to develop a full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) by 2022 as part of its commitment to slow climate change after dropping such a project at its Mongstad refinery in 2013.
Norway’s oil and energy ministry said it planned to award permits to inject and store CO2 in the fourth-quarter of this year.
It will be the first project in the world to store CO2 offshore from other sources than petroleum production, a spokesman for the ministry said.
The government has already asked Norway’s largest oil and gas firm Equinor to investigate the possibilities and potential costs of offshore storage.
Last October, Shell and Total joined Equinor in developing the project which could initially store up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year captured from a few onshore industrial sites.
The site could be potentially used in the future to store CO2 from elsewhere in Europe or the world, Equinor has said.
The plan is initially to bury CO2 emissions captured from several industrial sites in Norway, and potentially in the future from other sites in Europe.
Norway has pledged to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels as part of a U.N. agreement on climate change. In 2016, however, they were three percent above the 1990 benchmark.
The Oil and gas industry is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Norway.
Emissions from Norwegian oil and gas production fell by 1.4 percent to 13.6 million in 2017 from the previous year, the industry lobby group said on Thursday.
While oil production also fell by 2 percent year-on-year in 2017, natural gas output rose by 6 percent to an all-time high due to strong demand in Europe.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has said it expected oil and gas production to reach near record levels by 2022 after the startup of several new fields.
Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Alister Doyle and Kirsten Donovan