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New compiled atlas

20/05/2014 The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is completing the mapping of potential CO2 stores on the Norwegian shelf by publishing a compiled, revised edition of the previously published atlases.

Information from the three atlases has been updated, and the new atlas also contains a more detailed description of the method behind the mapping.

The NPD has published separate atlases for the Norwegian Sea, Barents Sea and the Norwegian part of the North Sea on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy since 2011. The atlases show that it is possible to store more than 80 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide on the shelf. This volume corresponds to 1000 years of the current Norwegian CO2 emissions.

“We have had a vast amount of data at our disposal,” says the NPD’s project manager, Eva Halland.

“We brought with us more than 40 years of experience from the petroleum activities and knowledge gained from several R&D projects in this work.”

The NPD has mapped formations filled with seawater – saline aquifers – and other structures in the subsurface on the shelf, including shutdown oil and gas fields. Based on knowledge regarding reservoir properties, sealing rocks, migration routes, storage capacity and monitoring methods, the NPD has assessed whether these structures are suitable for long-term and safe storage of CO2.

“There are areas with a high content of natural CO2 in the gas that is found on the Norwegian shelf,” adds Halland. Currently, CO2 is separated from the gas on the Sleipner Vest, Snøhvit and Gudrun fields, and stored in water-filled geological formations. This could also become necessary on several future field developments. Both water-filled formations and geological structures that could be suitable for this purpose are therefore mapped.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has drafted regulations for transport and storage of CO2 (Norwegian only). The draft is currently out for consultation, with a deadline of 28 May.

“The authorities have prepared regulations, showing where we can store CO2. Now the industry needs to get involved,” says Eva Halland.

The response to the NPD's maps has been significant. There are no corresponding atlases for other sea areas in the world. The compiled atlas and the three previous publications can be downloaded free of charge from the NPD’s website.


Updated: 22/05/2014