Following a vote in the Norwegian parliament, the Government of the Kingdom of Norway announced its approval of the final investment decision for the Northern Lights project, enabling the shipping, reception and sequestration of CO2 in geological strata in the Northern North Sea, approximately 2,600 metres below the seabed.
Total said the approval demonstrates the Norwegian Government’s strong support for the development of a Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) value chain, which is essential if Europe is to achieve its carbon neutrality targets.
With mergers clearances process underway, it will enable Total, Equinor, and Shell to launch the construction phase of Northern Lights.
Chairman and CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, said the development of the CCS value chain is essential to decarbonise Europe’s industries.
“We are a long-standing partner of Norway, a pioneer country which has more than 20 years of experience in CCS, and today we thank its government for making possible the final investment decision to develop Northern Lights,” Mr Pouyanné said.
“CCS is key to achieving carbon neutrality in Europe and is fully part of our Climate Ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050.”
Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, commented that ‘longship’ is the largest climate project ever in the Norwegian industry and will contribute substantially to the development of CCS as an efficient mitigation measure.
“Working together with the industry, the step-by-step approach has confirmed that the project is feasible,” the Minister said.
Equinor CEO, Anders Opedal, commented that Northern Lights is the first of its kind offering a solution to cut emissions from industrial sources in Norway and Europe.
“With all necessary approvals in place, we are ready to start construction of what will be an important part of the climate solution,” Mr Opedal said.
Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, added that the Norwegian government’s initiative and support for what will be the world’s first open-source CO2, transport and storage project shows real vision and commitment.
“Northern Lights is designed to provide a service to industrial emitters who can now take action on emissions that can’t be avoided,” Mr van Beurden said.
“This is key to bringing real progress towards tackling climate change. Shell will play our part in making this a reality.”
About the Northern Lights Project
Equinor, Shell and Total made a conditional investment decision on the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project in May 2020.
The project partners are now in the process of establishing a Joint Venture (1), which will be responsible for all project activities, including business development.
The Northern Lights project includes the development and operation of CO2 transport and storage facilities, open to third parties.
It will be the first-ever cross-border, open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure network and offers European industrial emitters the opportunity to store their CO2 safely and permanently underground.
Phase one of the project will be completed in 2024 with a capacity of up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
(1) Subject to merger clearance.