A groundbreaking offshore 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 boat is to be injected into a depleted oil field 200 km (120 miles) from the North Sea coast in what is called Project Greensand.
A consortium of companies centered around the German Wintershall Dea and the British INEOS are jointly working on Greensand.
According to Wintershall, the project is the world’s first cross-border offshore CO2 storage with the explicit aim of mitigating climate change.
According to the International Energy Agency and United Nations climatologists carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an essential tool for achieving climate goals.
Below is an overview of Greensand and other ongoing CCS projects across Europe:
THE NORTH SEA
Northern Lights, a joint venture project between Equinor, TotalEnergies and Shell. It plans to start injecting up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of CO2 into the saline aquifer near the Troll gas field from mid-2024. There are plans to increase storage capacity at 5-6 mtpa from 2026, pending demand.
Smeaheia, a project by Equinor to develop a storage site in the North Sea with the potential to inject up to 20 mtpy from 2027/2028. Equinor, which won the exploration permit in 2022, said it plans to inject CO2 captured from its own hydrogen production, as well as from some industrial customers in Europe. The company aims to make the final investment decision in 2025.
Luna is a project led by German Wintershall Dea, to store up to 5 mtpa of CO2 at a site about 120 km west of Bergen. Wintershall Dea and its Norwegian partner Cape Omega obtained an exploration license in October. Wintershall Dea holds a 60% stake and Norway’s Cape Omega owns the remaining 40% of the license.
Errai is a joint project of the British Neptune Energy and the Norwegian Horisont Energi to develop a storage site in the North Sea with a capacity of 4 to 8 mtpa and an onshore reception terminal. Germany’s E.ON plans to join the project if Norway approves the license application to store the CO2.
Trudvang is a joint project of Sval Energi, Storegga and Neptune Energy to develop a storage site east of the Sleipner gas field in the North Sea with a capacity to inject around 9 mtpa of CO2 from 2029. Sval is Trudvang’s proposed operator with a 40% ownership, while Storegga and Neptune each hold 30%.
Acorn CCS is a project off the coast of Scotland aiming to develop a storage site with an annual capacity of 5 to 10 mtpy of CO2 by 2030. Storegga, Shell and Harbor Energy each hold 30% of the shares and North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP) the rest. 10% in the project.
Viking CCS, led by independent oil and gas company Harbor Energy, aims to store up to 10 mtpa of CO2 by 2030 in the depleted Viking gas field in the southern North Sea. It plans to start injecting CO2 in 2027, initially at a rate of 2 mtpa of CO2, increasing to 10 mtpa by 2030 and 15 mtpa by 2035. RWE, Phillips 66, VPI and West Burton Energy plan to store CO2 emissions at the Viking Site.
Northern Endurance, a partnership led by BP, aims to develop infrastructure to transport and store around 20 mtpa of CO2 below the seabed in the southern North Sea from 2030. The project, which also includes National Grid, Equinor , Shell and TotalEnergies, aims to store the CO2 emissions captured in the industrial clusters of Teesside and Humberside.
Porthos, a project by the Port of Rotterdam, Gasunie and EBN, aims to store 2.5 mtpy of CO2 in depleted Dutch gas fields in the North Sea. All storage capacities have already been contracted by four industrial partners: Air Liquide, Air Products, ExxonMobil and Shell. The project planned to start CO2 injections in 2024-2025, but the start is now 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. The other partners in the project are ExxonMobil, Rosewood Exploration and the public company EBN. The partners plan to submit a storage license application in March with the first CO2 injections expected in 2027-2028, later than expected 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, increasing capacity to 8 mtpa by 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 over 10 mtpa by 2030 The project also involves Orsted, which operates offshore pipelines, and the Technical University of Denmark. In February, Denmark awarded TotalEnergies two CO2 storage licenses, including the Harald zone.
The Wilhelmshaven CO2 Export Terminal is a project by Wintershall Dea to build a temporary CO2 liquefaction and storage facility in Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s only deep water port, then the CO2 could be shipped or piped to permanent storage sites under the North Sea. It aims to initially treat around 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, by capturing and transferring the CO2 produced in the process through pipelines to offshore storage in Liverpool Bay. Pre-existing salt caverns in Cheshire will also be used as storage. Operations are expected to begin in 2025 and will store approximately 4.5 mtpa of CO2, increasing to 10 mtpa by 2030.
ANRAV, a project led by private Irish energy company Petroceltic, will connect CO2 capture facilities at HeidelbergCement’s Devnya Cement plant in northeastern Bulgaria with permanent offshore storage in the depleted Galata offshore gas field. Black. Scheduled to start operations in 2028, it will have a capacity of 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
PYCASSO is a project to capture carbon from industries in southwestern France and northern Spain and store it in a depleted gas field in Aquitaine. The project plans to transport around 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. The CO2 captured from industrial companies will be transported to the terminal to be dissolved in water before being injected into the basalt base. Operations, scaled up in stages, are expected to reach up to 3 mtpy of CO2 from 2031.
The Silverstone project, coordinated by Carbfix, will deploy commercial-scale CO2 capture, dissolve the CO2 in water and inject it into underground basalt rock for mineral storage at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant near Mount Hengill. Silverstone will capture and store approximately 25,000 tonnes 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 CO2 and transport it to depleted gas reservoirs off the coast of Ravenna in the Adriatic Sea. The first phase of the project is scheduled for 2023. The complete chain of capture, transport and storage will treat up to 100,000 mtpa of CO2.
The Cork CCS project aims to store carbon captured by Irish industrial facilities in a depleted gas field in the Celtic Sea, potentially reusing an existing pipeline for transport. The project is run by the Ervia utility.
Slite CCS is a CCS project carried out by HeidelbergCement and its Swedish subsidiary Cementa, at its Slite cement plant on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. It aims to capture up to 1.8 mtpy of CO2, or around 3% of the country’s total emissions, and store it at several sites under development in the North Sea.