A pioneering carbon capture and storage site will be launched in the Danish part of the North Sea on Wednesday.
Carbon dioxide captured in Belgium and transported by ship will be injected into a depleted oil field 200km (120 miles) off the North Sea coast as part of what is being dubbed the Greensand project.
A consortium of companies around the German Wintershall Dea and the British INEOS is working together on Greensand.
According to Wintershall, the project is the world’s first cross-border offshore CO2 storage with the explicit aim of combating climate change.
The International Energy Agency and United Nations climate scientists say carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is an essential tool for meeting climate goals.
Below is an overview of Greensand and other CCS projects being carried out across Europe:
Northern Lights, a joint venture project between Equinor, TotalEnergies and Shell. It plans to inject up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year (mtpa) into the saline aquifer near the Troll gas field from mid-2024. There are plans to increase storage capacity to 5-6 mtpa from 2026, pending demand.
Smeaheia, an Equinor project to develop a storage site in the North Sea with the potential to inject up to 20 mtpa from 2027/2028. Equinor, which was awarded the exploration license in 2022, said it is considering injecting the CO2 captured from its own hydrogen production, as well as some industrial customers in Europe. The company aims to make the final investment decision in 2025.
Luna is a project led by the German Wintershall Dea to store up to 5 mtpa of CO2 at a location about 120 km west of Bergen. Wintershall Dea and its Norwegian partner Cape Omega were granted an exploration license in October. Wintershall Dea has a 60 percent stake and Norway’s Cape Omega licenses the remaining 40 percent.
Errai is a joint project of the British Neptune Energy and the Norwegian Horisont Energi for the development of a storage site in the North Sea with a capacity of 4-8 mtpa and an onshore receiving terminal. Germany’s E.ON plans to join the project if Norway approves the CO2 storage permit application.
Trudvang is a joint project between Sval Energi, Storegga and Neptune Energy to develop a storage site east of the Sleipner gas field in the North Sea with the capacity to inject approximately 9 mtpa of CO2 from 2029. Sval is the intended operator of Trudvang with a 40 percent ownership, while Storegga and Neptune each have 30 percent.
Acorn CCS is a project off the coast of Scotland to develop a storage site with an annual capacity of 5-10 mtpa CO2 by 2030. Storegga, Shell and Harbor Energy each hold a 30 percent stake and North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP) the remaining 10 percent in the project.
Viking CCS, led by independent oil and gas company Harbor Energy, aims to store up to 10 mtpa of CO2 in the depleted Viking gas field in the southern North Sea by 2030. It plans to start injecting CO2 in 2027, initially at a rate of 2 mtpa CO2, increasing to 10 mtpa in 2030 and 15 mtpa in 2035. RWE, Phillips 66, VPI and West Burton Energy are looking at storing CO2 emissions at the Viking site.
Northern Endurance, a BP-led partnership, aims to develop infrastructure to transport and store approximately 20 tonnes of CO2 under the seabed in the southern North Sea from 2030. The project, which also includes National Grid, Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies, aims to store CO2 emissions in industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.
Porthos, a project of the Port of Rotterdam, Gasunie and EBN, aims to store 2.5 mtpa of CO2 in depleted Dutch gas fields in the North Sea. All storage capacity has already been contracted by four industrial partners: Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell. The project was planned to start with CO2 injections in 2024-2025, but the start-up has now been postponed to 2026 due to a legal dispute.
L10, a project led by Neptune Energy, to store 4-5 mtpa of CO2 in depleted gas fields in the Dutch North Sea. Other partners in the project include ExxonMobil, Rosewood Exploration and state-owned company EBN. The partners plan to submit a storage permit application in March with the first CO2 injections in 2027-2028, later than previously planned in 2026.
Greensand is a pilot project led by INEOS Energy and Wintershall Dea to demonstrate that CO2 can be stored underground in the Danish part of the North Sea. The project aims to initially inject up to 1.5 mtpa of CO2 from 2025-2026, and increase capacity to 8 mtpa in 2030.
Bifrost, a project led by TotalEnergies, aims to inject up to 3 mtpa of CO2 into depleted Harald gas fields in the Danish North Sea from 2027, and aims to increase capacity to more than 10 mtpa by 2030. At the project is also involved Orsted, which operates offshore pipelines and the Technical University of Denmark. In February, Denmark awarded TotalEnergies two CO2 storage permits, including the Harald area.
Wilhelmshaven CO2 Export Terminal is a project led by Wintershall Dea to build a CO2 liquefaction and temporary storage facility in Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s only deep water port, after which the CO2 can be shipped or piped to permanent storage sites under the North Sea are transported. The goal is to initially process approximately 1 mtpa of CO2 from 2026.
OTHER STORAGE POINTS
The HyNet North West project aims to convert gas and fuel gas from the Stanlow Refinery in Cheshire into low-carbon hydrogen, with the CO2 produced in the process captured via pipeline and transferred to offshore storage in Liverpool Bay. Pre-existing salt caverns in Cheshire will also be used as storage. Operations are expected to start in 2025 and will store approximately 4.5 mtpa of CO2, increasing to 10 mtpa in 2030.
ANRAV, a project led by private Irish energy company Petroceltic, will link CO2 capture facilities at HeidelbergCement’s Devnya Cement plant in northeastern Bulgaria with permanent offshore storage in the depleted Galata gas field in the Black Sea. It is expected to become operational in 2028 and have a capacity of 800,000 tons of CO2 per year.
PYCASSO is a project to capture and store carbon from industries in southwest France and northern Spain in a depleted gas field in Aquitaine. The project is planned to transport approximately 1 mtpa of CO2 by 2030.
The Coda Terminal will be a cross-border carbon transport and storage hub in Straumsvík, operated by Icelandic carbon storage company Carbfix. CO2 captured from industrial companies is shipped to the terminal to be dissolved in water before being injected into basalt rock. The operations, scaled up step by step, will increase to 3 mtpa CO2 from 2031.
The Silverstone project, coordinated by Carbfix, will deploy commercial-scale CO2 capture, dissolve CO2 in water and inject it into underground basaltic rock for mineral storage at the Hellishheidi Geothermal Power Plant near Mount Hengill. Silverstone will capture and store approximately 25,000 tons of CO2 per year. It is expected to start in the first quarter of 2025.
CCS Ravenna Hub, led by energy company ENI, is a project to capture and transport CO2 to offshore depleted gas reservoirs off the coast of Ravenna in the Adriatic Sea. The first phase of the project is planned for 2023. The entire capture, transport and storage chain will be able to handle up to 100,000 mtpa of CO2.
The Cork CCS project aims to store carbon captured from Irish industrial facilities in a depleted gas field in the Celtic Sea, potentially reusing an existing pipeline for transport. The project is led by utility company Ervia.
Slite CCS is a CCS project led by HeidelbergCement and its Swedish subsidiary Cementa, at their Slite cement plant on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. The aim is to capture up to 1.8 tonnes of CO2 per year, about 3 percent of the country’s total emissions, and store it at various locations under development in the North Sea.