Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has awarded two licences for the exploration of CO₂ storage in the North Sea. 

Located in the southern part of the North Sea, the new licences have been offered to Aker BP and Wintershall Dea Norge.

Aker BP will hold a 60% stake in the licence, which will be named Poseidon. It could potentially store more than five million tonnes of CO₂ per year.

The remaining 40% stake in Poseidon will be held by Austria’s OMV (Norge).

Aker BP plans to store CO₂ that has been captured from several different North-West European industrial emitters, including Borealis‘ industrial locations in Europe.

Aker BP CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said: “We expect carbon capture and storage (CCS) to play a key role in the transition to a low carbon energy future, and the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) holds significant potential for carbon storage. 

“This licence award provides us with an opportunity to explore both the technical and commercial potential of carbon storage.”

Wintershall Dea’s licence, called Havstjerne CO₂, is expected to have an annual storage capacity of up to seven tonnes. 

Wintershall Dea, which will control a 50% stake in the licence, is working with Altera.

Wintershall Dea board of executive directors member and chief technology officer Hugo Dijkgraaf said: “This second licence award in Norway supports our ambitious target to build a global carbon management portfolio that potentially can abate 20 to 30 million tonnes of CO₂ per year by 2040.”

Commenting on the development, Norway Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland said: “The establishment of commercial capture and storage of CO₂ is important for the world to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. The award of these two new licences contributes Norway to playing an important role when it comes to establishing commercial, large-scale CO₂ storage for European emission sources.”