Illustration; Source: Norwegian Ministry of Energy

Oil & gas players get their hands on CO2 storage licenses in North Sea

Three oil and gas companies have confirmed the award of new CO2 storage licenses in the North Sea as part of the sixth call for CO2 storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) launched by Norway’s Ministry of Energy. Two of these firms will be on the same CO2 storage team as both won stakes in the same license, turning them into partners.

Illustration; Source: Norwegian Ministry of Energy

The first storage license, named Atlas, was awarded to a group comprising Aker BP and PGNiG Upstream Norway. This license is located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, near the Yggdrasil area, where Aker BP operates the Yggdrasil field development project. The firm explained that it is looking into CO2 storage options on the NCS as a potential new business venture and part of its decarbonization agenda.

The Norwegian player is set to be the operator with an 80% interest, with the remaining 20% going to PGNiG, which also has a stake in Yggdrasil. The license entails a work program that includes reprocessing 3D seismic data, performing geological studies, and making a drill-or-drop decision after two years.

This expands on the information shared on June 20, stating that six companies out of eight that submitted their applications for the North Sea areas in March won four new exploration licenses. Furthermore, the Ministry has already announced the seventh round, with applications due on August 29, 2024.

The second storage license was awarded to a trio comprising Lime Petroleum and OMV Norge, which both got a 30% interest, respectively, and Vår Energi as operator with a 40% stake.

Lime Petroleum’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lars Hübert, remarked: “We have worked on this project with our partners for some time now and are very pleased to be awarded this CO2 storage licence, a first for Lime and an important milestone to us, as it brings us a step closer to fulfilling our vision of a net zero future with an abundance of energy.” 

The license for the Iroko area, located in the Central North Sea, is described as having the potential to store up to 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 annually spanning 30 years, or around 215 million tonnes in total.

Commenting on what is said to be OMV’s second CO2 storage license in Norway, its Executive Vice President for Energy, Berislav Gašo, noted that his company is transforming into a “leading provider of solutions for a sustainable and responsible energy transition” with carbon capture and storage (CCS) at the forefront.

“We have the subsurface expertise, capabilities and innovative mindset to unlock new carbon opportunities,” added Gašo.

The Austrian company recently went through a rebranding focusing on sustainability and circularity. This is believed to reflect its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050, coupled with its membership in the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0). OMV also intends to concentrate more on its European operations and developing its low-carbon business (LCB).

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