Norwegian Sea Could Store 5.5 Gigatonnes of CO2

The Norwegian Sea may be able to store 5.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s new storage atlas. This is more than 100 times Norway’s total CO2 discharge last year.

The mapping is a follow-up on the atlas from 2011 for the Norwegian part of the North Sea, which was estimated to be able to store around 70 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.

The atlas commissioned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy covers the area between 62° and 69°30″ North. The Trøndelag Platform, including the Nordland Ridge, is best suited for CO2 storage. The Trøndelag Platform includes the Froan Basin, which has a uniform Jurassic and Triassic sediment package considered suitable for long distance CO2 migration. It also includes the Helgeland Basin, with large structures on the eastern flank separated by large grabens deep enough to be barriers to fluid flow in the Jurassic aquifers.

On the Nordland Ridge three large structures have been mapped. They are separated from the hydrocarbon bearing terraces to the west, and may thus be suitable for CO2 storage.

The most mature areas in the Norwegian Sea have an estimated storage capacity of 0.17 gigatonnes.

The main objective of the study has been to identify areas appropriate for safe, long-term CO2- storage and to avoid possible negative impact on present and future petroleum activities. Suitable storage sites near producing fields will provide the possibility to take out and store excess CO2 from gas production. This is relevant for fields and discoveries having high CO2 content.

The atlas is based on studies and data derived from more than 40 years of petroleum activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and from the two CO2 storage projects on Sleipner and Snøhvit. This study is based on detailed mapping of all relevant geological formations and hydrocarbon fields in the Norwegian Sea.

Download the atlas here.

Press Release, January 28, 2013

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