Study reveals high CO2 storage potential in Barents Sea

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has completed mapping of potential carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites on the Norwegian shelf, and published an atlas of the southern Norwegian Barents Sea.

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy commissioned this program. NPD published a CO2 storage atlas for the Norwegian North Sea two years ago, followed by a Norwegian Sea atlas earlier this year.

The latest mapping takes in the part of the Barents Sea opened for petroleum activities. It reveals that 7.2 billion metric tons (7.7 billion tons) of CO2 could theoretically be stored in the reservoir rocks in the central part of this area, in sites where petroleum activity will likely continue for many years.

NPD added that around 70 million metric ton (77 million tons) of CO2 could be stored in structures with proven but non-viable hydrocarbons. This is in addition to an estimated storage capacity of 200 million metric tons (220 million tons) in the smaller structures in the Snøhvit development area.

“The Barents Sea is a frontier petroleum province, and oil and gas activities are ongoing in the entire area. It has therefore not been possible to delimit potential CO2 disposal areas against petroleum activities, as we have been able to do for the other regions,” said project manager Eva Halland.

Several exploration wells in the Barents Sea produced natural gas that also contains CO2. When more fields in the area are developed, there could be a need to remove this CO2, NPD suggested.

At the Statoil-operated Snøhvit field, CO2 has been removed from the gas and deposited in the subsurface since 2007. “This has provided us with a good understanding of how CO2 can be stored in the area,” Halland said.


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