Danish drilling rig operator Maersk Drilling has announced that it is joining a new carbon dioxide (CO2) storage consortium formed by Wintershall Dea and INEOS Oil & Gas Denmark.

The partners in the consortium are currently progressing a project regarding the development of CO2 storage capacity offshore Denmark, which involves reusing discontinued offshore oil and gas fields as a permanent store for carbon dioxide.

Maersk Drilling noted that the project has support from the ‘Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme’, through the Danish Energy Agency (DEA).

The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) will also serve as a research partner for the project. It will undertake laboratory experiments and analysis of results.

The Danish drilling rig operator will contribute some funding to the project’s initial phases.

Maersk Drilling CEO Jørn Madsen said: “We’re really excited to be joining this effort to support the green transition by using the facilities and capabilities of the offshore industry and Maersk Drilling’s more than 40 years of experience with drilling wells in the North Sea.

“As the Danish Government recently stated in its climate plan, carbon capture and storage is an important component in the efforts needed to reach the goal of reducing Denmark’s emissions by 70% by 2030. For Maersk Drilling, the project is part of our innovation initiatives and an attractive opportunity for building additional competencies and broadening the use of our rigs.”

The plan is to build project infrastructure and capabilities that will allow carbon dioxide captured on land such as onshore industrial or power facilities to be transported offshore for injection and storage 1,700m beneath the seabed.

Maersk Drilling said that it expects some of its offshore rigs to be used to re-purpose the existing wells for carbon dioxide injection.

Wintershall Dea chief technology officer Hugo Dijkgraaf said: “At Wintershall Dea, we are very certain: the global energy transition is happening, and we intend to play a decisive role in it. One way we will do so is through technology and innovation projects like this.

“Offshore CO2 storage can have a significant contribution to a cleaner energy future and the potential to significantly mitigate CO2 emissions in Denmark. Thus, we really appreciate the support of the Danish authorities to fund this important endeavour.”

Last month, Maersk Drilling confirmed the anticipated layoffs at its global onshore offices, including its headquarters in Denmark.