Equinor to develop Smeaheia and Polaris CO2 storages


Norway – The operatorships for the development of the CO2 storages Smeaheia in the North Sea and Polaris in the Barents Sea have been awarded to Equinor.

Equinor has proposed expanding the CO2 storage capacity in Smeaheia to 20 million tonnes per year in its application, implying a significant increase in the capacity to store CO2 on a commercial basis on the Norwegian continental shelf. Northern Lights, the Longship project’s CO2 storage facility, has a planned injection capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year in Phase 1, which will be available in 2024, with plans to increase the capacity to 5-6 million tonnes per year by 2026.

The CO2 storage Polaris is located in the Barents Sea, about 100 kilometers off the coast of Finnmark. The storage is an important component of Equinor’s Barents Blue project, which it is working on with Var Energi and Horisont Energi. The project is building an ammonia production facility at Markoppneset in Hammerfest that will use carbon capture and storage to reform natural gas from the Barents Sea into clean, blue ammonia. The first stage of development entails the annual capture, transportation, and storage of two million tonnes of CO2.

More storage

Equinor hopes to contribute to CO2 reductions equal to half of Norway’s annual emissions through these two projects. Equinor wants to develop more storage licenses in the North Sea in the coming years, with the goal of creating a common, pipeline-based infrastructure that can help CCS value chains cut costs significantly.