The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has awarded its first licences for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the North Sea to TotalEnergies and a consortium of Ineos E&P and Wintershall DEA.

The move forms part of the country’s efforts to achieve CO₂ neutrality by 2050.

DEA director Kristoffer Böttzauw said: “Granting the first exclusive permits for full-scale CO₂ storage in the North Sea is an important step into the future. CO₂ capture and storage is an important element in the green transition.

“Today’s licences are the result of effective implementation of the first Danish political agreements on CCS.”

The partnership of Ineos and Wintershall has been awarded one licence for CO₂ storage in the Danish North Sea while TotalEnergies EP Danmark received two licences.

The licences cover areas in previously unexplored saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas fields.

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In a press statement, DEA said: “The timing and design of the final CO₂ storage facilities will depend on the upcoming exploration and research work.”

The Greensand project, which is led by Ineos and Wintershall, is expected to start CO₂ injecting into depleted North Sea oil and gas fields by 2025, reported Reuters, citing Denmark Climate and Energy Ministry.

It will have an initial capacity to inject up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO₂ and increase to eight million tonnes per year by 2030.

TotalEnergies has received two licences to explore CO₂ storage potential in the Danish North Sea.

Covering an area of 2,118km2, the licences are located 250km off the west coast of Denmark.

TotalEnergies carbon neutrality senior vice-president of new business Arnaud Le Foll said: “With the Northern Lights project under construction in Norway and projects under development in the Netherlands and the UK, the North Sea area will be the main contributor to our objective of ten million tonnes per year of CO₂ storage by 2030 and to the decarbonisation of the European economy.”