Carbon storage

The 2020 Danish climate agreement for energy and industry, etc. stipulates that CCS technology is to play a key role in Denmark’s work to achieve its national climate targets. CCS stands for “Carbon Capture and Storage”, which involves “capturing” carbon dioxide (CO2) and then storing it underground in order to reduce carbon concentrations in the atmosphere.

In June 2021, the Danish Parliament reached broad political agreement on a roadmap for carbon storage. This initial agreement was followed up in June 2022 with the achievement of broad political consensus on the framework conditions for CCS in Denmark.

Nordsøfonden as state participant

In the 2022 agreement, it was decided that Nordsøfonden should represent the Danish state as a partner in all licences – offshore, nearshore and onshore alike – issued for carbon storage and related activities in Denmark. The Danish subsoil is a common resource and state participation will help guarantee that the state has insight into and influence on the activities involved. Furthermore, it will ensure that Danish society shares in any tangible benefits derived from carbon storage. For private operators, having the state involved as partner means that the state will also take on a share of the risk.

There is significant potential for the storage of CO2 below ground in Denmark. For example, depleted oil and gas fields could be ideally suited for the purpose. Having been a consistent participant in almost all activities in the Danish sector of the North Sea, Nordsøfonden possesses peerless, wide-ranging knowledge of and insight into Denmark’s subsoil resources and offshore infrastructure. As the future state participant in all carbon storage licences, Nordsøfonden will bring the full weight of this knowledge to bear on promoting the development of CCS in Denmark, to the benefit of society as a whole.

Nordsøfonden’s participation in the storage of CO2 in Denmark requires an amendment to the law concerning Nordsøfonden and Nordsøenheden. It is expected that the relevant legislative process will be completed around the turn of the year 2022/23, after which Nordsøfonden will be in a position to participate in the future carbon storage licences.

Nordsøfonden’s share will be set at 20 percent in the first licensing round. A political discussion is then scheduled to take place in 2023 to determine whether this share should be increased in future licences. Depending upon the specific project, Nordsøfonden may also become co-owner of the relevant infrastructure, as well as of any associated transport and intermediate storage solutions.

Tender for carbon storage licences

On 15 August 2022, the Danish Energy Agency officially launched the first tender in Denmark for licences for investigation and storage of CO2 in a delineated area of the Danish section of the North Sea. The deadline for applications was 1 October 2022.

Nordsøfonden will be a partner in the licences granted from the tender. Once the licences have been issued, Nordsøfonden will work with the other partners to mature the projects.

Map of tendered area in the North Sea

Map of the tendered area (marked with blue) on the Danish Continental shelf, where it is possible to apply for licences for investigation and storage of CO2

 

CCS projects

Nordsøfonden is already working with carbon storage in a variety of projects:

Partner in Project Bifrost

Project Bifrost comprises the development and selection of a concept for transporting CO2 to the DUC’s Harald Field in the North Sea and storing it there. The field has a projected storage capacity of up to 3 million tonnes of CO2 annually, with start-up anticipated in 2027.

The partnership behind Project Bifrost consists of the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC – comprising TotalEnergies, Noreco and Nordsøfonden), Ørsted, which owns the pipelines, and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) as academic partner. 

Member of the Project Greensand Advisory Board

The objective of Project Greensand is to demonstrate that a depleted oil and gas field in the Danish sector of the North Sea can be used for storing carbon dioxide. The partners in project Greensand are INEOS Oil & Gas Denmark, Wintershall Dea, Maersk Drilling and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).

Nordsøfonden is one of a number of selected stakeholders that have been invited to participate in an independent advisory body for the project, named the “Project Greensand Advisory Board”.

Member of the task force for a CO2 Storage Reference Project

As a part of the Danish CCS strategy, the sum of DKK 210 million was made available in the period 2022–24 for mapping potential carbon storage locations below ground in Denmark.

GEUS is responsible for the technical aspects of executing the project. In partnership with other potential storage operators with experience from the oil and gas industry, Nordsøfonden is participating in a task force whose assignment is to support the project work.